I have a mom.
I have a wife who is the mom of my children.
My mom has a mom, my wife has a mom.
My sister-in-law is a mom, my sister is a step mom, my other sister is not a mom—but she has the lady parts that could technically make her a mom someday.
As a son and as a father, the situation vexes me.
My mom is great; she did an okay job, I can spell and do laundry. She bathed me, and fed me, and I can’t remember if she dropped me, but it couldn’t have been from too high a height if she did. That deserves celebrating.
And my wife, well she consented to marry me, then further consented to bear my hell-spawn. I mean children. She has had to deal with them (and me) for sixteen plus years, that deserves an entire ticker-tape parade.
Then, I have a mother-in-law. That’s big too, I mean she birthed my wife and instilled her with the good qualities that make her a great mom. Once again, celebration-worthy.
It just keeps going outward.
You see where I’m going. This whole Mother's Day thing is a huge debacle of Dr. Seussian proportions. Where do you stop? Is it just a celebration encompassing everyone under the double X chromosome umbrella?
I don’t know the answer. I’m not sure if anyone does. Except maybe the greeting-card companies, flower venders, and chocolatiers, and their answer seems to be, “Buy, buy, buy.” If they could figure out a way to make you buy a present for Dad on Mothers Day, like because he got mom pregnant, they would.
This was easy when I was a kid, just a couple of painty handprints on a flower pot, an art-class card in pencil on construction paper—done. Now it’s a little bit harder. My kids are out of elementary school, so there are no compulsory gifts coming home. They don’t have jobs or incomes to buy gifts themselves, they don’t have the ability to hear exactly want my wife wants and then buy her the wrong thing anyway—that is a unique talent only I possess.
What is an appropriate gift for bringing you into the world, and wiping your butt, anyway? Gold bouillon? Towels? A card that sings a Beyonce songs from a microchip?
I can stand around and rail against the corporate behemoths pushing printed paper stock, but I can’t rail against moms. Holidays may be silly and kind of convoluted, but sentiments are not silly. Moms are bigger than holidays. They are more than chocolate and flowers, more than gifts and a brunch.
Moms are everything.