Sunday, May 9, 2010
I've always felt odd about this holiday, too, though hate is a word I reserve for oil spills and terrorism, war and earthquake/tornado aftermaths. I feel funny, especially, because mothering, to me, has been—well, it's just this simple: I love the kid to death; he makes me happy. He hasn't burdened me, he's only broadened me. He's surprised me, and he's taught me, and he's great to look at, and he's funny. I don't think I need a gift for getting to hang out with my kid, or some fancy meal. I feel ashamed, in fact, when they are offered. What I wish, though, is that my own mother were alive, for since her passing, three and a half years ago, I've been denied so many things—the chance to tell her stories I know she'd like to hear, the chance to bring her flowers and cook her meals, a reason to go hunting for the perfect mother gift. I bought my mother gifts all year round. I hardly go into shops anymore; there doesn't seem to be much of a reason.
Yesterday, during a wind storm, I went to visit my mother's grave, still tended by my father with extraordinary care. Still there, on the ledge, were the silk amaryllis and the ornamental instrument I'd taken during Christmas—so many snowfalls and rainfalls since. I rocked in the new begonias among my father's sweet pink plants while the tree limbs above my head cracked and twisted. I doubt the begonias are where I left them. I imagine the deer came in, or the wind rushed through, or some rabbit had a field day. But I took the flowers to my mother's grave for my own sake, and because buying for a mother is still a daughter's privilege.