I just stayed up for 24 hours between Friday and Saturday with our sick dog Flora, who required all of my love, attention, worry, physical presence, and a call to the advice nurse, so I am including pet owners in my Mother's Day wishes. Flora is fine now, thank goodness! Having a child and a dog, I feel like I can say this with authority. Sick kid, sick dog. The worry is exactly the same!
I am a single mother, the sole parent of a 17 year-old son. When I first became a mom, Mother's Day was a weird holiday for me. How do I celebrate? Do I buy myself a card and flowers? Shop for an expensive gift I can't afford? Take my wiggly 18 month-old out to brunch? How do I give myself the "day off" when there's no one to pick up the slack? These questions bothered me greatly on my first few Mother's Days. Looking back, I think I was exhausted. Now, when I have a bad night's sleep, I wonder how I ever made it through those early years. Sleep deprivation is my nemeses. Over time, I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I'm not one to hit my head against the same brick wall and expect a different outcome.
Fortunately, I was rescued from my pity-party-of-one by the ability to live in the moment. Mother's Day is now anytime I feel the gift of motherhood. Profound conversations in the car with my eight year-old over Sponge Bob Square Pants, laughing hysterically together while watching The Office, noticing how easily he travels in foreign countries, his ease at being with adults, and now, at 17, watching the seeds I planted grow and start to bear fruit. My teen is grounded, kind, and emotionally intelligent. Yeah, I have a laundry list of complaints, just like any parent, but setting that aside, the boy's well on his way to becoming a good man. That's my Mother's Day gift!
A few years ago I started a secret Pinterest board called Dream Big Life. In it are mostly experiences. Places I want to travel, gardens, beaches, mountains, the northern lights, and peppered in, a few material possessions. Just a few, because I am not that into stuff. (No surprise there considering the line of work I'm in, right?) I am not immune to imagining a few splurges though, and I thought I'd share this year's imaginary Mother's Day splurge - The Little Free Library. I love it. I even know where I'd put it in the front yard. I may even buy it some day. But for now, I am gifting it to myself in my head and that feels so fun! If you don't do this, you should. Frequently giving yourself something in an imaginary way is enough.
Well, we're off to walk the dogs along the bay. Happy Mother's Day to me, and to all of you!