Sunday 5.8.05: Mothers Day
Happy Mothers' Day to my mom, my sisters, and all of you who have had the courage to rear children.
My friend Venora, one of the world's true peacemakers, suggested that Mothers' Day might be extended to include all "nurturers." She argued that many people don't have their own children but play a nurturing role in the lives of others. I told her the concept was way too politically correct. I've dabbled in nurturance from time to time. Nurturing can be bounteous, but like a foundation grant, it can be awarded in small amounts and withdrawn at any time. By comparison, motherhood is more like government social security -- a gigantic commitment that won't stop demanding.
No, this morning's tip o' the hat is strictly for mothers, nearly all women and the few men who land the role unintentionally, and the fewer men who actually choose to adopt a child.
We've been watching movies lately by the director Mike Leigh and his imitators. His British working class dramas make an art of portraying depressed and exhausted parents whose adolescent or young adult children are sullen, lazy, back-talking, defiant, and all-around disrespectful. The younger generation only seems to notice their parents -- very often single mothers -- when a crisis erupts and they find out their parents are not simply the nagging background noise of their lives.
So, mothers, enjoy your cards and flowers and candy and brunches. The gimme-gimme brats and the brooding teenagers and self-centered adult children will be back tomorrow.