Well this Sunday past was Mother’s Day. As is the case of most traditions, this one has been adopted universally according to the American tradition of celebrating Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May as the day when individual family’s honour their mother (hence the individual ‘mother’ in Mother’s Day).
As with everything else, this day too is reduced to mere symbolism with cards and flowers, gifts and special discounts for all mothers. But is this what mothers really want? Yet another card or a perfume or a towel set? Or a quick call saying “mom, I love you”?
When my girls were little Mother’s Day was a special day; their gifts and cards were hand crafted. Those were the ones I treasure the most – cards made with crayon scribbles and felt pens with crooked mis-spelt words, words proclaiming me the best mother in the world, with lots and lots and lots of love forever and ever and ever. Gradually the cards became more professional with witty rhymes and sophisticated themes. Their handmade gifts too were ingenious – a batch of chocolate that never set, or a hanky with lace trim stuck with Fevicol, or my own sari gift wrapped and presented to me! Oh those were lovely days and lovely gifts when I truly felt the immense love and effort that went into expressing their gratitude.
And as with everything else, these gifts too grew up and the girls went through a phase of buying me a card or a book and then eventually decrying Mother’s Day as crass commercialism and altogether giving it a skip. So now our family doesn’t observe Mother’s Day though we do remind each other of the day on the day.
Do we really need a special day to remind ourselves that we have mothers to whom we owe a lot?
I remember my mother everyday and I call her up every day; sometimes just to find out how things are with her and share what’s happening in my life, sometimes for words of comfort or advice that only a mother can give. One of my children is in regular touch with me mainly because I look after her child while she is at work but my other child is not only far removed spatially but also ideologically.
So while I don’t really want to celebrate Mother’s Day, this particular day in the year is all the more poignant because I remember the days when my children were truly my children – who remembered me every moment of the day and not only on a special day because they were dependent on me for their daily needs. While I am happy that they’ve grown up and are independent entities, I do feel bad that one of my children has gone so far away from me that our relationship has been reduced to a mere formality.
People say that time is a great healer and that with each passing day, the pain of “losing” one’s child gets less. Alas, only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches and I hope that one day my relationship with my lost child is restored and that my children share the same relationship with me that I share with my mother – and not only on Mother’s Day but every other day.
As a mother of two thirty-year old daughters and a grandmother of a nineteen week old grandson, Sunita Rajwade has been there and done that. A hands on mom, she has seen two girls grow successfully through baby hood, toddler hood, adolescence and adult hood; solving their maths problems and contributing to their angst of growing up with a mom “who doesn’t understand”. But now as a grandmother, she’s being appreciated for her “wisdom” and “understanding” and would like to share my experiences of this wonderful journey from motherhood to grandmotherhood.