?`s and ANNEswers

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Mother’s Day, 2016

Yesterday, I whined about Donald Trump. Today I’m taking on Mother’s Day. People will soon call me a Curmudgeon First Class.

It’s not mothers or motherhood or mothering that I object to. It’s not the Hallmark® idea that offspring should send cards or wire flowers or show up with candy. It’s the confusion that ensues in today’s world. I am Exhibit A.

Over the course of my life I’ve acquired more than one husband, which means more than one mother-in-law in addition to my own mother and grandmother. This generation ahead of me seemed to feel entitled to attention on Mother’s Day, and I completely understand. Were it not for them, neither I nor my husbands would ever have met.

But things got complicated as I became a step-mother while still being a mother, a daughter, and a daughter-in-law. My step-daughters struggled with whom to honor on this day. And my own children’s loyalties were also divided as they mollified me, their step-mothers, and their step-grandmothers.

Now, thirty years down the road, we’ve all grown up.  The mothers-in-law have met their heavenly reward. And today I spent Mother’s Day with the mother of a friend, like I do most Sundays, who had no pre-conceived expectations.  The weather was warm, the coffee hot; and we had a wonderful discussion about yesterday’s Kentucky Derby.

Unsolicited, I received long-distance texts, emails, phone calls, and cards from my two sons and their significant others. I didn’t hear from my step-daughters, but then we parted ways years ago. Perhaps they are honoring their biological mother. Or maybe they are being honored by their own children. So I hope . . .

I mentioned all this to my son-in-law this evening and asked him who we should honor on Mother’s Day.  He said simply, “We honor them all.”  Back then I couldn’t; now I believe he is right.

Maybe I’m not the curmudgeon I pretend to be.

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