Mother’s Day is next week, and that sucks for a couple of lezzy moms. Who gets breakfast in bed? Do we both buy gifts, or do we cancel each other out? Do we make the kids do overtime and force them to craft 2 cards or drawings or paint mugs at our local paint-your-own-ceramics shop? I’m conveniently certain that Gabriella slept in last year, so it would be my turn for breakfast in bed this year. Regardless of who’s slated to be Mother of the Year, I am still Morah Devorah for the next 3 weeks. I have to impart Jewish learnings onto 2nd graders at 9:15AM that Sunday morning which is most definitely ungodly and on Mother’s Day down right cruel. I’m afraid Mother’s Day is a wash for us this year.
Oh my, are you weeping? There, there. Please don’t fret just because we will not be able to participate in the one day out of 365 when someone might be forced to deliver a morning breakfast tray of an egg on toast, a cup of tea, the paper and a kind word. And how could we possibly in good conscience support the institutionalized flower carnage that strips our land’s gardens of its roses and calla lillies and hydrangeas? No, I’m sure we’ll be quite contented to carry on as per usual and not give Mother’s Day another thought.
And what about our own mothers? Could we not celebrate the women who gifted us life? Well, Gabriella’s mother Rosa is no longer with us, sadly. My mother exists which is about as much as I can say and still sound like a lady. She has not spoken to me in years, but she is most likely ripping the heads off bunnies and snarling at small children unlucky enough to cross her path. Best we leave her be.
She wasn’t an entirely bad mother, I suppose. She armed me with very thick skin and a few pieces of advice along the way. Why, I recall the day of my first menseeeees. I know-icky word. She handed me the sanitary napkin that was literally the size of a brick and whispered slowly enunciating each word as if I could only read lips, “and when you’re finished with it…wrap it up in toilet paper…and throw it away.” She accompanied her instructions with hand gestures in case I wasn’t following her. Who knew that the international sign for wrapping your soiled napkin with toilet tissue is the same as rolling your patty cake?
I stared at her in disbelief. A couple of beats passed before I could blink and ask, “What about tamp-“
“NOT UNTIL AFTER YOU’RE MARRIED!” She answered at full volume. And that was that. End of discussion. My mother, the doctor’s wife, wanted to keep the hymen intact for my would-be husband. My hymen and I had other plans. I was not about to be strutting around town looking like I was riding a loaf of bread. Do you know how difficult it is to smuggle tampons into your house and practice inserting them off-cycle? If you’re a woman who has ever used tampons, then the thought of shoving a cardboard tube up there without any lubrication is enough to make you suck the air in through your teeth and pucker your lady-lips tightly together in a kegel formation. Ouch! But I was determined to liberate myself from the pad, and I didn’t have the benefit of YouTube. That’s right! You can learn how to insert a tampon on YouTube, but I’ll leave it to you to select one of many helpful videos.
So the challenge for me is to identify the appreciation in every day moments instead of counting down the days until Mother’s Day. This is an easier task for some who are not me. But my Asher helped me find the joy in motherhood this evening as he crawled into bed and asked if we could cuddle for a few minutes before he went to sleep. I chose to ignore his ulterior motive to avoid sleep at all cost and snuggled beside him. We talked about the day and made plans for the week and gave each other full body hugs that remain with me still. These are the moments that we try to capture on Mother’s Day, and these are the moments I will recall as I shlep my tuchus to Hebrew School next week. And that will suffice…until the boys are old enough to get me some frickin’ flowers!