I suppose it all depends on my frame of mind. There are times when I'm in agreement with Anne Lamott who writes about why she hates Mother's Day. There was a moment in my life when I was coming to terms with not being a mother myself, a moment when the value placed on something that you are not just seems to be adding to the general feeling that society thinks you are somehow less valuable than other people. Much the same as Valentine's Day functions for me as a single person.
So, fine, I don't get a day on the calendar. I do take the entire month of August to celebrate my birthday so I probably make up for it. Additionally, in our family we are not really big on specific days. I do think that kind of adds to the potential artificiality - do you really have to wait until May to tell Mom that you appreciate her? Do we have to wait until December to give someone a gift? Personally, I don't mind at all if my birthday is not celebrated on the actual day, but I do expect about a month's worth of celebrations.
Additionally, since I just sent my adorable (but tiring) niece home with her mother after one sleepover night that included an unsuccessful photo shoot in which I am ashamed to say it was hard to tell who was acting more like a five year-old and since there are two more sleepover nights yet to come this week, I am really enjoy my night of singledom, feeling like I can take a breath and actually hear myself think, and maybe work on a project that I feel like working on instead of being at someone else's beck and call. So you could say that my current frame of mind is that I do not feel left out not being a mother just as Mother's Day is arriving.
Being a shopgirl, there might be some tension between my feelings about any particular holiday, particularly the commercialization of it, and my desire to actually make money in my chosen profession. But I do love giving gifts, and I sure do love receiving cards, so I guess we see where I land on that side of the discussion.
I have had lengthy discussions with various grammar fanatics, about whether it is Mother's Day or Mothers' Day. I think we came to the general conclusion that it is supposed to be specifically about one's own mother and should therefore have the "s" following the apostrophe. And even though I came to that conclusion myself, I am feeling lately it is more like "s" and THEN apostrophe, a general celebration of the people who have acted as Mother in our life. Some of these people are women. I also know some women who have not at all been Mother in my life, and some men who have filled the role more than those women. And, yes, a very specific mother has a great deal to do with who we are and how far we have come, but I think what I'm coming to more and more is the sense of the very many people who play a part in who we are and how far we have come. Maybe you'll send one of them a card this weekend. Maybe in a month or two. I will admit that the general political sentiment these days seems rather....... unMother's Dayish.... It was with that in mind, not even specifically for Mother's Day but really more as a sign that I wish was in the office of all politicians, state and national, that I created my She Is print last year. It continues to be popular and we've shipped off a few this time of year. Again, not really something that I think should be limited to one Sunday in May.
By the way, I've always been charmed by the idea of sending a card off-season, so to speak. Making Valentine's Day the big holiday for sending out greetings instead of Christmas (I think that was something Julia Child would do), sending a thank-you for no particular reason, celebrating someone's quarter-birthday.
For us, Mother's Day kind of marks the kick-off of the selling season so we use it as a deadline for finishing up various projects and making sure that we are well stocked. Naturally we do have an assortment of lovelies for moms, even though a part of me wishes that people would just buy things they think would be perfect for someone when they see the items in the store, saving them for a holiday or not, rather than using a date on a calendar to drive the shopping. That has always been more my style - I keep things in my closet for months if necessary because I hate the idea of having to run around at the last minute or settle for something just because I'm on a deadline. I know full well there are other people who like that pressure. This week has certainly been busy with such shoppers and the Saturday before is usually marked by lots of Dads with kids, sent out of the house to get a present for Mom, but also giving her a present of a day without them (I always imagine).
Perhaps most important for us is the relatively simple matter of sending Mom a card. I was eating my lunch in the office and overheard a customer yesterday: "It's funny when my Grandma started sending me e-cards, that's when I started loving real cards. You don't even get real cards on your birthday. I'm not talking about money, just a CARD." I'm no better than anyone else when it comes to relying on Facebook and email, in fact, I may well be worse but it still makes me happy that I can at least try to facilitate other people's good intentions about staying in touch.
The craft table is filled with paper scraps and supplies and people have stopped in every day this week to make cards. Two sisters spent a long time making these amazingly layered cards for their Mom - one for her birthday and one for Mother's Day. I do love the idea of a Mom getting a handmade card long after the elementary school days of card crafts. Additionally this year, we really stocked up on printed cards. Since we opened in 2008 and I had to bring cards in from my own collection, we have consistently been unprepared for Mother's Day. Each year we order more cards and each year it is not enough. This year we had so many cards two weeks ago that I was getting nervous that we over-ordered but gaps are starting to appear in the pockets and we should more or less make it through Sunday.
P.S. While I was cleaning my living room from spillover from painting my bedroom, I found a gift certificate for a massage from the talented Candice at In Balance with a post-it note on it: "For Mom for B-Day." Her birthday is in February. So I AM cheating and giving her that for Mother's Day, but I also found a lovely dish at the newly opened The Regal Find in Middleton and a potholder at Orange Tree Imports. I know, I know, the potholder is really not a very good Mother's Day gift - along the lines of giving her a vacuum cleaner, but she asked for some at Christmas and this is a new pattern with cute little birds that I know she will love. And for someone who loves wrapping paper as much as I do, I actually went off course and wrapped them furoshiki style with a Japanese kerchief. I'm liking the idea of wrapping things that way, even though the ones we have at the shop are so cool that I would have a hard time giving them as part of the gift - maybe I'll just get one and keep it in the family. There are mothers in my life that I really should send a card to, but I still have postcards to send from my flurry of Valentine's good intentions.