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Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Pall of Mothers Day

My wife tells a story about mothers day for her own mother where they were trying to have a picnic and her mother got so frustrated she turned over the picnic bench. A perfect metaphor for the Hallmark Card created day of Mothers Day. As my wife tells it her father and brothers and sisters were trying to give her mother a lunch outside but of course nothing went right and her mother ended up doing a lot of the work and the frustration built to a point where in a fit of Mothers Day rage her mother flipped the table and stormed into the house. My wife said this stood out as a low point on the Mothers Day barometer and always made her dread the Holiday if we can call it that.

And now she is a mother and I am the provider of mothers day and while no tables are flipped everyone must pitch into provide a momentary pause in  the momism of everyday life. That is what mothers day is all about right? To give a mom a break and in this world of working mothers and the modern rush of sports and kid activities enough to blow a Google Calender apart this is no small feat. So after the breakfast in bed and flowers and cards  the day of Mothers Day commences. Do what you want. Do what you feel like doing. The kids are too impose no burdens. Nor is the husband.

But those roles do not melt away on the griddle of familial icepicks for the swollen joints of toil and motherdom. We all know our roles very well and only total removal from the battlefield gives true relief; something my wife has done by going off with her mother for the day. Inevitably the everyday creeps back in on on the sanctified day of leisure for mothers. The kids don't have any coats. Have they eaten. The kitchen is a wreck. I will handle it all. Uh huh.

And so we plow on and tiptoe around and look toward the dusk. Mom will relax. Mom will have a good time. It is deemed so. Until the dusk where we all start again and mothers day becomes a momentary memory against an unending slog of middle class work. Happy Mothers Day! Right?

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Books by William Hazelgrove