Sunday, May 11, 2008

It takes one to know one

When I was little, I remember asking my parents why there wasn't a Kids' Day.

"Because every day is Kids' Day," my dad would say.

At the time, I didn't get it. There was no designated day for presents and going to an amusement park just because we were kids. But now I understand. Parents work tirelessly every day on their children's behalf to make sure they have life's necessities and even some niceties.

But now that I'm on the other end, I still haven't identified with Mother's Day. Even though it's the role that most defines me from the moment I wake up to the moment I lay down, and get back up -- again, and again, and again throughout the night.

Over the past few weeks, many of my coworkers had asked whether I was excited about my first go at the holiday.

"Sure," I'd say. But the truth is, it doesn't feel like a good fit. Gold heart pendants with #1 MOM spelled out in diamond chips isn't quite my style. I love being a mother, but it's not something I need to advertise around my neck.

For me, this day feels more about my mom than ever before. Now I know she carried me around before I could walk. She rocked me to sleep when I cried without reason. She encouraged me before I understood what her support meant.

And before her, it was my grandma. And, before her, my great-grandmother. And so on.

This day suddenly feels like a tribute to all of the women before me. And all the others who wear spit-up on their sleeves as a badge of honor. Or muddy fingerprints. Or bank accounts that have cleared checks for everything from little league and medicine for runny noses to car insurance and college tuition.

It isn't about gold pendants and baskets of flowers. It isn't about cards and breakfast in bed.

It's about the women who give tirelessly of themselves out of love every day.

I just hope I can follow in their footsteps.

7 comments:

Sarah said...

I lobbied HARD for a "Kids Day" when I was little so for a long time we had "Daughter's Day" which we celebrated on my half birthday and "Sons Day" which was celebrated on my brother's half birthday. Good times!

jsi said...

It is also an amazing opportunity for art acquisition. I proudly display upon my office door the illustrated poetry,
"Rose are red,
Pickles are food,
I love you so mush
I can't wait to see you."
That is a certified, copyrighted, one-of-a-kind signed by the poet piece of artwork that my book-keeper wants for herself.

I always found Mother's Day as a day of gratitude for my husband who was such a powerful encouragement to be a caring mother. After all, I wouldn't be a mommy without him.

Enjoy the tenderness and strength of the sentiment and the day.

the plainsman said...

Excellent, Kelly. And despite the poinient words that illuminate what it is all about, your heading, "It takes one to know one" remains the final test in one's heart.

We humans are often our own harshest critics, though. I have no doubt that you are following in "their footsteps" and making a few new ones of your own as well.

So a "Happy Mother's Day" to you and all, and may a bit of the recognition and appreciation continue with you and all for the next 364 days as well.

As for me? I'm still waiting for that "Kids Day!"

denae said...

Kelly

I've been reading your blog since 2006 and I can honestly say . . .

You are the type of woman that I would want to be my mom.

take care,

denae

sarahhhh said...

happy mother's day!!

i too asked when was kids day. i cried when i heard it was mother's day and my mom (while in the middle of doing my stinky laundry) said, "okay it's kids day now." ... whatever haha.

petra said...

I feel that every day is Parents' Day as much as every day is Kids' Day.

Ray said...

Very beautiful entry. And beautiful of you to acknowledge the women before you. But, "Happy (VERY BELATED) Mother's Day" to you just the same. Because you deserve that day, as well as any other mother. Your love and dedication to Allison is proof of that.

<3