Why My View on Mother’s Day Has Changed

This May will mark the fourteenth year I’ve celebrated Mother’s Day as a mom, and I’m ashamed to say I’ve always had a bit of a chip on my shoulder when it comes to the holiday. I’m from a big family, so Mother’s Day was typically spent doing lunch with my mom, and my mother-in-law, then stopping off at my stepmom’s, then visiting three grandmothers … and I resented the fact that, as a mom, I didn’t get to do what I wanted. It was my day, too, right?

In fact, my favorite Mother’s Day was the year we celebrated all the mothers on Saturday and my husband and daughter let me spend the entire Sunday in the sunny backyard … by myself … in a lounger. I’d recently discovered Joshilyn Jackson and read Backseat Saints from cover to cover.  

At the end of the day, I was a bit sunburned but content. That was 10 years ago, and I haven’t had a Mother’s Day like it since.

So why am I writing about Mother’s Day so early this year? Because for the first time, we live in Georgia … too far for a one-day visit and here’s my chance to reclaim that simple Sunday memory.

And yet I can’t wait to celebrate the day with my mom back in Alabama. 

You see, my 90-year-old Gran lives just a hop from my parents, and they’ve taken every necessary precaution during the pandemic to keep themselves healthy. Which means socially-distanced visits outdoors, walks to the river on opposite sides of the road, Christmas on the back porch. 

It hasn’t been the greatest year for any of us, am I right? 

But finally, over the past two months, they’ve all been vaccinated. 

And last week, my husband and I both got our first shots, as well. 

Since I hold a bachelor’s in journalism, I’ve always had the good sense to have someone double-check my math. And it’s been confirmed that two weeks following our second doses (which is the recommended time by the CDC) will be just in time for a Mother’s Day weekend in Alabama — where I get to stay with my mom! In her house! And hug her!

Getting older truly has made me wiser — and maybe the process is sped up when there’s a teenager girl in the house? Or perhaps it’s the pandemic … or having lived away for almost a full year … 

Regardless of what’s behind the change of heart, I realize what I want most on my Mother’s Day is to celebrate the others in my life — these strong women that raised me and raised the people whom I love. 

There will (hopefully) be plenty of days — in the far future — where I get to be the focus of this special day, and other days spent in backyards with (hopefully many) more Joshilyn Jackson novels. But for now, I expect this upcoming Mother’s Day to greatly surpass that earlier favorite. 

Because I get to hug my mom, y’all! 

* This column first appeared in The Walton Tribune on April 3, 2021 *


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