A big reason why I enjoy holidays is because it gives my family a reason to get together. Otherwise, we're all too busy living our separate lives. These special occasions almost force us to put our bickering and private lives aside and act like a somewhat functional family, if those exist these days.
This Mother's Day was no exception. The big eight got together for lunch and surprisingly, didn't argue (unless you count Jesse's showdown with the hostess who seated us forty minutes after our reserved time). Then again, we were late like usual, but that's no excuse for poor service. I used to be a host so I take these things personal.
Anyhow, it's a gloomy May morning and I digress. What I wanted to articulate was the fact that this past Mother's Day was especially important for me.
These past couple weeks have been, to say the least, frustrating. And what's almost confusing and irritating is that with all these college acceptances, I would have expected it to be joyful. This is the time where I'm supposed to breathe a sigh of relief and jump for joy. I just thought all of this hard work would have surrmounted to a big horrah especially from the woman I love the most in this world. I suppose I also wanted her to read my mind. The point is I wasn't getting it. And yet I should know this, coming from a family that doesn't express itself in either healthy or effective manners. (We're a very demanding and impatient family for the most part.)
So instead I took to pen and paper and wrote my mother a five-page letter, expressing to her all the emotions I've withheld in the past couple years. Everything I've wanted to say but was too afraid to came out. There were parts were I was so angry and bitter that my words came out so hurtful, I then rewrote them and resolved some issues on my own. I certainly would not have been able to find such clarity without the lunch talks and support of professors and friends.
When I struggled to understand why my parents didn't seem happy for me. My history professor, Susie Ling put it to perspective, "Don't you see. They're afraid of losing you." I immediately thought of my mom who left her family and college to marry my father and mother six kids.
In reference, the LA Times published a poignant op-piece this Sunday titled "Moms are People Too." Deborah Tannen, a Georgetown professor writes, We want our mothers to see us and love us for who we are, but we are often disappointed in them for falling short of who we think they should be. Mother's Day is a good time to try to see our mothers and love them for who they are: creations of their lives and their worlds, which doubtless are different from our own.
To my mom and mothers around the world, we can never say it enough, thank you. Love you, Mommy.