It's Mothering Sunday here in the UK, and mums all over the country are being greeted by their loving children. I posted a Mothering Sunday greeting over on Mozart's blog for our foster cat's Furever Mum, and then started thinking about mine.
She wasn't a very big part of my growing-up except as something of a family legend we loaded up and visited at the holidays. Dutifully we sent cards on the American Mother's Day date, and when we were older we just as dutifully mailed off Mothering Sunday greetings. Mothering Sunday started as something different from the American one, although an older observation, it was primarily observed by the hired help as their annual day off to journey home and be with their mothers-the upper classes viewed it rather the same way they did Boxing Day, so it wasn't really a holiday to them that haz 'staff' until recently.
Of course the American day was and is all about how wonderful one's mother was/is to go the sacrificial route and give them birth. And wipe one's streaming orifices top and bottom, plus feed the screaming one better known as the mouth, lol. Growing up with a step-mother from hell, you can guess Mother's Day for my family was about escaping into fantasies about our real mum 'over there', and wishing the divorce system had worked differently...
My birth mother is gone now, and there are times I think I knew her, understood her, loved her very well. And then there are other times I think I didn't know her at all and now I never will.
I have friends who still have their mothers and are deeply grateful for that blessing; I have friends who had toxic mothers and haven't a clue if the old harridan is still sucking air, and aren't at all interesting in finding out. Luckily for me my step-mother was just that, a step, and easily dismissed from any need to wax sentimental about on Mothering Sunday OR Mother's Day.
I have friends who are enduring their first Mothering Sunday without their beloved Mum, and a few who are enduring their fifth, tenth, twentieth...
Mothering is such a fraught proposal! My son, my beautiful, beautiful boy, will be thirty at the end of the month, and although it's been an extremely trying adventure mothering that guy, even knowing how very hard it was going to be I would still do it.
I think my mum would say the same. In the end, I think that is what mothering, what Parenting is, at the heart of it.
So to my British readers, I wish you a wonderful Mothering Sunday. Peace be with you always, and may you hear from your child today:)