I mean, I have a Mother. And a really amazing one. She’s the kindest, most generous person I know. And I will always want to make her proud of me. Her heart is the size of a beach ball, and her capacity to love, surpasses any living human’s. She is beautiful. Her teeth are white as snow. And her joyful spirit will always be that of a fun 29 year old.
My sister is also a Mother. And a great one. With a full-time job, and two little’ns under the age of three. She never sleeps, she travels for work, and somehow she never turns the page to “raging homicidal maniac”.
Many of my friends are also Mothers. I see their adorable, messy, hilarious photos and updates online. Once in a while, witnessing them in action. They are amazing women, each unique and strong and perfectly imperfect.
Truly, I am in awe of them. I couldn’t do what they do.
I can barely do what I do.
We used to “make my Mom breakfast in bed” (thanks to my Dad) on Mother’s Day, and then sit too close to her and watch her drink fresh OJ and a muffin or something. We had long since before, eaten too many bowls of Fruit Loops, because we had already been up for 15 hours, because we were kids, and our job was to be annoying. Sleeping in? What was that! The sun was lazy compared to us! UGH, why is this orange juice thing taking forever!
In the days leading up to Mom’s Day this year, I definitely watched too many diamond commercials, stabbing at my last remaining heart-string, “IF YOU’RE WORTH ANYTHING IN LIFE, YOU GET A DIAMOND, YOU STUPID IDIOT!” with swooning, mushy-hearted men who would never exist in real life and not one day come out as unapologetically gay.
I thought about Mother’s Day as something more than a brilliant collaboration between Hallmark and the local brunch spot.
It’s the definition of womanhood. And of having a real life. Doing something meaningful. And somehow, in some backwards way, it was making me feel like less of a person.
Will I always be the one writing the cards and making the calls? My ovaries rolling up into each other like I fold my socks, I wondered if I would ever be part of this day. Or ever be celebrating what I find fulfilling in my life.
One day back in March, I was working my delivery job, and dropping off an order to a Russian family in Beverly Hills. When a young Dad holding a baby opened the door, the smell of fresh lilies and roses slapped me in the face like the goddamn start of Spring.
“OMG it smells amazing in here!” The bouquets were ENORMOUS, and I instantly worried that someone was dead.
“It does! Those are the flowers for my Mother and my Wife.” He explained. “It’s our Women’s Day today.”
“Women’s Day?” You tell me more right now, Mister.
“It’s like your Mother’s Day. But in Russia, we celebrate all the women – girlfriends, sisters… It seems better, doesn’t it?”
“Um, yeah.” Duh.
Immediately I had to find out more about this Russian Lady Day.
I’m all about the best holidays from other cultures. Greek “smashing plates” Independence, Spain’s “throw tomatoes at strangers really hard”, and anything involving tacos, near-death experiences, and lanterns floating into the sky.
Also, holidays featuring tequila.
I discovered it was an old relic from Soviet times, but still very much a part of Russian culture. And it celebrates women. Internationally, actually. And all of them. How far we’ve come throughout history, as a group. And where we’re going. And it’s usually celebrated by a full day of “guys picking up the slack” — which hey, sometimes just means “not letting the door slam in that chick’s face”. Not to name names, almost every guy at West Hollywood Starbucks. SASHAY AWAY. (Relax, there’s also a Russian Men’s Day).
I thought about my friends who I know want children so badly, and are having trouble conceiving. I thought about my friends who don’t want kids at all, and who are busting their asses every day to change the world. I thought about foster mothers who do everything they can to provide loving homes for kids who are always hoping their biological mothers will take them back some day. I thought about Ervin, who’s Mother is dead. And those friends who’s Mothers… could have done a lot better.
Why so hard sometimes, life?
There’s just so much dimension in the definition of a Mother. And in the definition of a Woman. Can we take a cue from the Russians? Can we celebrate all the good stuff ALL us ladies do?
My motive is a selfish one… I could be avoiding the awkward “Happy Mother’s Day” of a rando cashier, as I smile, wondering why I look like a Mom at that moment. Oh. “OH, this ice cream is for me. AND, these stickers… yeah, same with the gum. It’s for me too… But thanks. Happy Mother’s Day to you too, dude!” One older woman I delivered dinner to, wished me “Happy Mothers Day” and I returned the sentiment, as my heart sank, hoping she didn’t think I was a Mother who delivered pizzas to pay for my kids’ piano lessons.
I chose to think she was happy for MY Mom, who brought me into the world, so that I could one day, bring this lady her pizza.
My heart slid lower, somewhere near my future cankles.
I love the idea of celebrating ALL of woman-ity. Because, it’s modern times. And some of us want 1.2 kids and a picket fence, and some of us don’t. (I have seen those “.2” kids — not pretty). Some of our babies are human, and some aren’t. Women influence the world in so many profound and powerful ways. Prostitute, stripper, topless-only stripper… I’m kidding. Although — if that’s your thing, no judging.
And I’m not just saying this because I want someone to send me a card saying “Good job with your life, Lady”. Or watch me eat breakfast in bed, like freaky creepers.
I just want us all to share one day that appreciates us for being us. Whatever we wanna be.