Mother’s Day has become a touchy subject — and with good reason. There are women who want to be mothers and have not been able to achieve that goal because of circumstance or health restrictions. There are those who have lost their mothers, who don’t speak to their mothers, who don’t know who their mothers are. There are mothers who have lost children. The day can be extremely painful for some people. To those of you in any of those circumstances, I am very sorry, and I hope that the day went by quickly for you.
This column is for the rest of you. The new mothers who are so sleep deprived they don’t even realize it is Mother’s Day. The women who just found out they are going to be mothers. The women who have children who make them presents in school. The women who have children who can buy them presents and do. The women who have children who can buy them presents and don’t. The women who have very high hopes for Mother’s Day and are disappointed year after year… and for the folks who say that “every day is Mother’s Day.” Every day is Mother’s Day — that’s a good one.
My first Mother’s Day involved Husband #1 bringing 50 bags of frozen breast milk to my parents’ freezer and surprising me with an overnight trip to Atlantic City. The real surprise was that unbeknownst to either of us, we already were pregnant with Son #2 … but that was to be discovered on Father’s Day.
Husband #1 tried really hard that first year, and I did appreciate it. My favorite Mother’s Day gifts have been the ones that the boys have made in school. Allow me to share a poem with you — and I will not reveal who the author is (mainly because I have no idea because there is no name on it). “Mom is the best. Often in a good mood. The skinniest woman on earth. Has a good sense of humor. Everyone says you’re funny. Really young.” For those of you paying attention, the first letter of each sentence spells out “mother.”
Every year I am astounded at how intuitive my boys were about me. Here I thought I was always in a good mood … apparently not. I also have a Mother’s Day gift made by Son #3 (I only know this because there is a picture of him in the middle of the flower). Each petal of the flower is a coupon for me to use. “Help you with laundry.” “Take you to a Devil’s game.” Of course I never cashed in on any of these coupons. I am hoping to start using them in September, so he misses his flight to Israel…
Any seasoned mother knows that the more Mother’s Days that have passed, the less of a chance you have to spend Mother’s Day with all of your children. Kids grow up, move out, possibly get married, possibly live in a different country — the possibilities are endless. The really really blessed mothers have all of their kids nearby, and they all converge on her every year to acknowledge her awesomeness.
That is the goal. That is the dream. So this year, when Son #3 asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day, I jumped at the chance to say, “I just want all of us to be together.” “No, really mom,” he said. “What do you really want?” I replied, “I really want us all to be together.”
Fortunately, I got what I wanted for Mother’s Day. We all went out to dinner. This wasn’t an easy feat, because we had to take Mincha and Maariv times into account. Along with afternoon Torah learning and evening Torah learning (commonly referred to as “night seder”). Traffic from New Jersey to Washington Heights, traffic from the Heights to the Upper West Side, traffic back…you know, things that everyone has to work into their dinner considerations.
But we did it. And I enjoyed and appreciated every second. Because who knows what next year will bring (forget next year, who knows what tomorrow will bring) and you have to cherish every single moment. It doesn’t hurt that I got great cards that they filled out in the car on the way to the restaurant, because it is the thought that counts.
Hope you all had a wonderful day.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck also got an amazing cookbook that Son #3 picked out for her at the Judaica House in Teaneck. She looks forward to making him many recipes in 20 minutes or less of prep time.