Seedlings: What I Want for Mother’s Day – By Amy Wall Lerman
I consider myself to have been pretty diligent about acknowledging my mother, my grandmother, and my mother-in-law on Mother’s Day. When I haven’t been able to be with them, I have always sent flowers or a card. I’ve tried to be creative over the years, or at the very least, thoughtful, by choosing my Hallmark cards with care. When it was all signed, sealed and delivered, I felt my job was done.
When I was in elementary school, the teachers were always very good about not letting kids forget their moms on Mother’s Day – whether it’s with a hand-made ceramic coffee-cup-sort-of-ashtray-type-thing with the word “Mom” painted on the side or a card shaped like a heart. I guess you could say that kids are prepped pretty early-on that moms (or at least this day) should not be taken for granted.
When I grew up, but was still young enough not to know better, it was guilt more than anything that drove me to send the cards and flowers: I can’t forget the moms in my life! How could I live with myself? But now that I’m a mom too, what I feel most guilty about is just that – remembering because I knew the guilt would kill me if my moms didn’t kill me first.
The other day at work, and I don’t remember how it came up, I blurted out that all I want for Mother’s Day for the rest of my life is a phone call. As soon as I said it, I almost gasped out loud. I was that mom: the mom that wants the phone call – “you don’t call – you don’t write!” I could hear the screech of George Costanza’s mother ringing through my brain and I wanted to run and hide from myself!
But I think what happened at that moment is I suddenly realized what my moms really want from me – especially my own mother – and that’s me. My mom wants to see my face or hear my voice. She wants me to tell her about my life or, at the very least, what the weather is like in my neck of the woods. She wants me to stop my busy life for 30 minutes and just be with her in whatever way I can.
I guess I’m not as cool as my mom though. I’d be lying if I said I’d be happy with just 30 minutes of my son’s time once a year (heck, I hope he buys a house across the street and I get to see him everyday – but that’s a whole different article). More than flowers or handmade gifts, I want my son to have a full life. I want him to be happy and living out his dreams. If we have the kind of bond that will put him on a plane, or in his car, because he wants to see me on Mother’s Day, I’ll be ecstatic. If all he has is 30 minutes of time, believe me I’ll take it and run with it – but it better not just be once a year or I can guarantee you that Mrs. Costanza will rear her ugly head for real.
Amy Wall Lerman, Editor of the Motherhood Later Than Sooner eZine, Baby Bloomer, is a television news producer and writer. She is the author of several books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Critical Reading and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Family Games. Her poetry has been published in an online literary journal. Amy lives in New Jersey with her husband and 4-year old son.