Fourteen years ago, my daughter and I started celebrating Mother’s Day by ourselves. With an emotionally chaotic home life, and a daily uncertainty about where our journey was taking us, that one Sunday in May became the most comforting day of the year for me.
It would begin with total indulgence (usually crepes with treacle syrup and endless cups of tea) then move on to a day of television, lots of talking, and all kinds of delicious food. We would prepare for days in advance, with my daughter writing down her wish-list, and both of us looking forward to blocking out the world for one, blissful day of peace and quiet.
No upsetting phone calls or heart-stopping letters in the mail, just she and I indulging ourselves in the simplicity of being mother and daughter. We would cook together, play board games, stay in pajamas, and anything else that had made it onto my daughter’s carefully folded piece of red construction paper.
She was only 5 when we began to do this, and it instantly became our new, family tradition; it was the one that we looked forward to each year, and friends and family knew that we wouldn’t answer the telephone or leave our house on that day. It was just meant to be for us.
It reminded us of what was good in the world, the importance of family, and that as long as we had each other we would be okay. For me, it was also a day of comfort – a day of self-care, and a reminder that we really all just want (and need) the same, simple things in life – we want to feel loved, and we need other people to love and care for us.
As the years went on, we never once wavered in our tradition, and absolutely no-one was ever allowed to share our special day together. Until this year… A new love, and his family, were welcomed into our home this past Mother’s Day. With barely a hesitation, we invited them in, and had a wonderful day filled with food, lots of talk. and a cozy fire in our living room.
No longer feeling the need to cling to each other, holding onto the emotional security of our annual Sunday, I realized that we (I?) had quietly stopped being afraid of what we might lose, and had begun to celebrate all that we had been given …
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