As an immigrant child, we were used to adopting holidays and cultures that were not traditional to life in a Greek village. Overall, my folks were pretty good sports. They didn’t have Christmas trees filled with presents and visits to Santa Claus in the village, but we always had a beautiful fake plastic tree with glittery ornaments and boxes of gifts. Birthdays were new to them, particularly as they weren’t exactly sure of their birth dates, they didn’t have any documentation, nor any yearly celebration to remind them! But our parent’s photo albums are chock full of me and my sisters celebrating our annual birthday gatherings in our basements, with balloons, cakes and lots of friends.
So it wasn’t surprising that mother’s day was met with reluctance by my mom because it was all about her, and not us kids. My mother didn’t see the point. Just make me a card, don’t give me a present (ok, she said that for her birthday and Christmas too). Just be a good girl, just make me proud, just go to church. Her idea of Mother’s Day wasn’t connected with gifts or a one-day, one-time thing. She wasn’t looking for tangible things. For her, Mother’s Day was every day, and it was about being the best kids we could be because that would be the ultimate reflection of her mothering skills! (Sorry mom, you did the best job ever, we may not have been the best students, but we are still learning!!!)
So, now that she’s closing in on her 80’s, we have learned that gifts aren’t what she’s looking for. She just wants to have lunch together, preferably home-made, and just enjoy her family. Maybe she’s on to something! Ok, we still bring her gifts, and she still protests, but that’s our own family dynamic and it works out just fine.
Hope you enjoy your Mother’s Day in your own special way.