Today is Mother’s Day. If this is truly the first you’ve heard of it, I can only tell you how glad I am that I am NOT you.
I know: We could go on and on about how it’s just a trumped-up, marketing ploy based on some arcane something-or-other and blah blah blah … but the fact remains that it is Mother’s Day.
We’re all over the map on this one: We love it, we hate it, we love her, we hate her, we look forward to it, we dread it. We can’t say, “I love you!” enough, or we just wish we still could. Or we just wish we could have a sane conversation, without all the … stuff. Or we can’t afford it or we can’t afford NOT to afford it or or or…
It’s the same for her, because she’s all over the map, too: Smiles, anticipation, dread, regrets, guts, greed, generosity, grandparenting, unconditional love or unremitting guilt or or or…
Guilt. We can all get to some kind of guilt on Mother’s Day, and don’t give me that, because you know exactly what I’m talking about: Too little, too late, too much, too soon, not enough, never, “I wish I had” or “I wish I hadn’t” or “I wish I could.”
I wish I could. I wish you could, too.
It’s no secret to anyone who follows this little column with any degree of regularity that I am (Truly!) married to the best friend I’ve ever had. Not too long ago, I started the day with the piercingly insightful inquiry, “So, what’s up today?”
She said, “Today, I’m just going to try to do the right thing.”
The right thing. “Today, I’m just going to try to do the right thing.”
It’s Mother’s Day — just do the right thing.
Yeah, you do know what the “right thing” is — You may not like it or you may not want to, but you know darned-good-and-well what it is, whether you’re the “kid” or the Mom; Yeah, you do.
Don’t get all lost in yesterday or history, or tomorrow or forever or what should-have-been or could-have-been or who should have done what to who, when — just do the right thing.
Don’t get all lost in psycho-babble and BS — it’s just a day. It’s Mother’s Day.
And the same goes for you, Mom: Unpack the baggage and your own guilt and just do the right thing. Be who you wish you were.
There it is, for all of us: Just for today — for Mother’s Day — let’s all be who we wish we were.
There are a million reasons why there might be no “Mom” — or no “kid” — but today is still the day, so look around you: You will see, if you allow yourself, loneliness. You could do something about somebody’s loneliness, today.
It’s just today, for crying-out-loud! One lousy day! It won’t kill you! It won’t kill me! It’s Mother’s Day!
We over-analyze everything to the point of nausea! Certainly, there are many true stories — horror stories about who didn’t deserve what; so, each of us has to decide what the “right thing” is.
But each of us can figure it out, if we just get out of our own way: Do the right thing, for somebody, on Mother’s Day.
Then, tomorrow, we can all go back to being whoever it is we think we are, and doing whatever it is we do, so we can act like today never happened — if that’s what we want to do.
But not today.
And for many, many of us, this is a lovely day, a special day, an opportunity to do the right thing and be who we wish we were, all the time, so do it. Enjoy it.
Here’s the “Rule” for today: No eye-rolling; in other words, nobody (including you, Mom) gets to roll their eyes today — just accept that we are all “who we are” and that “perfection” is just another word for “… nothing left to lose.”
It’s just a day — one lousy day! So, we can probably all manage to be our best “us” for one lousy day. If you have to “fake it,” go ahead. Do the right thing.
Smile, laugh, hug. Share something. Here’s how you’ll know if you did it “right:” Do you feel good about who you were and what you did today? Yeah? Then, you did it right.
Today isn’t about getting what you want, or me getting what I want. Today is about having an excuse to be excused from being who we are most of the time, so just for today, we can be better.
Because, just for today, it’s Mother’s Day.
Mark Harvey is the director of Information and Assistance for Olympic Area Agency on Aging. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 532-0520 in Aberdeen, (360) 942-2177 in Raymond or (360) 642-3634. FACEBOOK: Olympic Area Agency on Aging-Information & Assistance.