The Multiple Meanings of Mother’s Day

 

“Are you a mother?” asked the grocery store clerk at the check-out counter. “Are these roses for your mother?” she went on to inquire. A friendly lady with a genuine smile, I answered her questions briefly but honestly, and then busied myself by bagging the groceries to avoid any further small talk with this stranger about the imminent holiday.

It is presented as a day of recognition and appreciation for the marvelous relationship between mother and child. As with every Western holiday, for weeks we are faced with daily reminders though advertisements, specials, and promotions. We can’t open our email or check social media without being inundated by quotes, pictures and messages to, or about, “mom.” Every place from flower and greeting card companies, restaurants, department stores, travel agencies, spas, gyms and theaters are touting their products as the perfect way to show “mom” how much you care. It is a day of commercial celebration.

However, there is another side to the story, one which is equally, if not more, common. Recognizing this extremely complex relationship, Continue reading “The Multiple Meanings of Mother’s Day”

Love ~ All You Can

 

“Sometimes all you can do is love,” said an exasperated mother in reference to her rebellious teenage daughter. When we don’t understand. When we don’t know how to respond, repair or resolve a situation. When our instinct is to push away, lash out at, or escape from someone who challenges the last frayed strand of patience or tolerance… sometimes all you can do is love.

There is a tendency to want to differentiate the types of love based on who we love and how we love. Continue reading “Love ~ All You Can”

Counter-Steering Through Loss

 

Motorcycle riders call it counter-steering. When taking a turn, counter-steering is the process of pushing the handlebars in the opposite direction you think you should, and leaning your body toward the turn. Even when this accompanies the sensation that you could topple over with the bike, leaning into what feels like it might take you down is what actually allows you to execute the turn safely.

Navigating this life unscathed, unscarred, or unimpacted by the crushing sensation of heartbreak, the sting of rejection, or the raw and ever-present void from the death of a loved one is nearly impossible. All of these losses, among others, can Continue reading “Counter-Steering Through Loss”

To Be (mother) or Not To Be (mother)?

 

It was girl’s night on the town, something we were all looking forward to and had prioritized amid our busy and demanding schedules. A mix of 30- and 40-somethings, we champagne-toasted each other and our much anticipated evening together. We come from all walks of life, different parts of the world, different cultures, different experiences, and we cherish one another more because of it. This is not where we are divided. Where we begin to feel the division between us is in our parental status—whether or not we will go home to children at the end of our evening. Continue reading “To Be (mother) or Not To Be (mother)?”