As we all know, Mother’s Day is this Sunday. So, of course, in anticipation of this, I have written a long-ish, sappy note that I will post here because the world really should know just how awesome my mom is.
However, this day is not just about one woman; not to me, at least. It’s about all the women who have taken on the role of a mother at some point in my life. Yes, my mother carried me for nine months and labored with and birthed me, and for that, she’s special; my number one mom by far. Nobody—nothing—could ever take the place my mom holds in my heart.
But that doesn’t mean that what the other women in my life have done for me isn’t special and wonderful. My aunts—whether they have children or not—have always been there for me. My grandmas (God rest my mom’s mom), too. It doesn’t matter whose kid you are; at family gatherings, we’re all just one big blob of relation, blood and otherwise. Some of my cousins are moms, too, and they’re older than me by enough that I can look to them for motherly advice, as well. (No, ladies, you are not old; just experienced. And I love you.)
And then, there are my friends’ moms. Some of them have known me since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Some of them have met me only once. I daresay that not all of them love me, or even know me all that well, but the ones that do have definitely treated me as their own, and that’s a wonderful feeling that I want to thank them for giving me.
There are so many wonderful moms in my life. How on earth can I celebrate just one? So, I propose that instead of a singular Mother’s Day, we celebrate Mothers’ Day. It’s exactly the same. Heck, your mom can be the only mom you celebrate. Or you can celebrate no mom at all! In fact, if there are any computer science people reading this, I propose we call this day Mother* Day. (To understand this in-joke, look up the meaning of “Kleene star”.)
In some circles, I’ve heard that celebrating anyone other than the mother(s) who birthed/adopted you, even if you are celebrating your own mother(s), is rude. It takes attention off your own mother, or you’re hogging someone else’s mom, or something. I don’t get it. (I do get that everyone has their own traditions, but really, jumping down someone’s throat because they invited a mother to an event out of kindness and love is going a bit overboard.) I also don’t get allowing only daughters to celebrate their mothers, which is another thing I’ve heard happens—are kids not allowed to celebrate the parent who doesn’t share their gender?
I’m not trying to say that we should scrap the concept of a day to celebrate mothers, or a day to celebrate fathers, or gender in general. I’m saying that I want to honor all these women (and when Father’s Day rolls around, all these men) who have taken on such pivotal roles in my life, and that I want to do it in such a way that it makes them comfortable and loved and respected. So, no, you don’t have to do it my way. Nobody does. But me? I will, anyway.