Sunday, June 19, 2011

Of Mothers Days and Fathers Days

Mothers Day and Fathers Day are promoted all across this country by businesses.  Restaurants, florists, greeting card manufacturers, and a host of other small and large industries rely on and promote the holiday to drive sales.

And this is not what this post is about.

I think a lot of people have a lot of stress on these two holidays.  Every family has issues, and it seems like no matter what issues you might have, you are expected to set these aside one (or two) days a year and tell your mother and father how great a job they did, and by-the-way, here's some flowers, or a tie, or a lunch.

But there's a lot of people that really would like to skip that holiday altogether.  If you grew up in an abusive home, why would you want to tell the abuser that they are a great parent?  For that matter, it's a reminder of just how crappy you had it growing up.  Let's rub some salt into that wound.

What if you have lost one or both parents.  You get a yearly reminder of that empty spot in your heart, and the phone calls you no longer get to make. 

Even worse.  What if you are a parent, and you don't get that phone call, or card or lunch?  Is it a condemnation of your parenting?  Or is your child simply forgetful, or very busy?  What if you've lost a child?  God, to think that every year, other parents are celebrating a holiday with their kids that you will never ever get to celebrate again.  There's a Lifetime-For-Women movie in there somewhere because it makes me sad just to consider abstractly.

Then there's sibling issues.  What if you have a brother or sister and they celebrate "better" than you do?  Now somehow you have to start competing to show your parent that you love them just as much as your brother who by-the-way also lives in a nicer house and has a wife with a better ass?   As if you didn't have to worry about enough things in your life that you really wanted to add "Do I show my mom I love her enough?"

Or what if your parents are aging, and you start wondering how many holidays they might have left with you.  Do you make them into bigger celebrations in some morbid "prove my love before he/she dies" kind of thing?


All of this seems like a lot of stress. 

I love my parents.  I hope my son loves me.  He texted me "Happy Fathers Day.  Relax and have lemonade!"  Which was nice, but I'm not sure on the whole lemonade thing.  I don't have any strong memories of us ever sitting back and enjoying lemonade together.  And I'm going to puzzle over that one for at least a few days.

Maybe we should get rid of these two holidays, and just tell the people in our lives that we appreciate, that we appreciate them. 


  1. The lemonade has the easy meaning: Sit back and Relax, you earned it!

    Happy Father's day!

  2. Since both of my parents are deceased these two days just open a hole in my heart every year. In some ways I am glad my dad is gone because he was so sick for several years before he died. And then after dad passed mom and I became best friends so it was especially hard when she passed away suddenly. I miss them both.

    Tom Reed

  3. Tom,

    I never know what to say in response to something like this. My heart really goes out to you, and I've been trying to imagine what my life is going to be like someday when my parents are gone. They are in good health, but have started making plans for the future, as they are both in their 70's now. It's really weird and scary to think about.

  4. I really didn't mean to bring you down. What i really wanted to say is that i wish that I had told my parents how much they meant to me before they passed, and somehow all of what i wrote came pouring out instead.