Today is Mother’s Day.
Lest I forgot to call my mother, I had quite a few reminders:
- Driving to work on Thursday, the radio reminded me to order flowers, and save 20% by entering their “secret code”.
- As I was leaving work on Friday, no less than three strangers said “don’t forget to call your mother” in the ten minutes that it took for me to gather my belongings and walk from my desk to the elevator. Strangers. Think about that for a moment.
- Driving to the gym on Sunday, a big, flashy billboard screamed “Call your mother”. It was sponsored by a local hospital.
- At the gym, the TVs on the wall played a commercial approximately once every 13 minutes featuring a celebrity talking about their positive motherly relationships and ending with a message to “call your mother”.
- Facebook wished me happy mother’s day when I logged on.
- Snapchat sent a special notification to me with a video featuring flowers and music and a special “happy mother’s day” message at the end.
Luckily, my mother and I have a decently okay relationship. I call her weekly, sometimes more if there’s something special going on. She lives a few states away, but I get to see her several times a year. She’s my number one cheerleader and I appreciate that about her. Still…the inundation of mothering messages was still almost too much to take. I kept thinking about what if it hadn’t been this way. What if my mother passed away? What if I was estranged from her? What if she was sick and unresponsive.
It’s hard enough losing a parent and having to deal with major calendar milestones, like birthdays or anniversaries. But this would be too much. I know that if I no longer had my mother in my life, I would just want to crawl under a rock for the week leading up to Mother’s Day and turn off anything which connects me to society in any way. But that’s not realistic.
Maybe, just maybe, we as a society could just be a little more sympathetic and a little more understanding of the varied family structures around us. We could also be a little more trusting–if I need a reminder to call my mother, I’ll set one up in my phone, no need for the hospital to tell me to do so.