June 17, 2024

When I wrote this, Mother’s Day had just passed. By all accounts, it should have been a lovely day. My husband made me a spectacular breakfast, and we spent the morning side-by-side watching Premiere League soccer. He gave me terra cotta colored roses. My children gave me red roses, Lego flowers, and workout supplements. I had a card from my baby sister, and the most adorable text and pictures from my middle sister, mom-figure mom, and three nieces. 

But, it wasn’t good. And for no particular reason. Or maybe so many reasons. Some of them good and obvious. Some of them stupid and opaque. None of them worth teasing out in a blog. 

Instead, I will just say that these “days” are tiresome. Mother’s Day. Father’s Day. Grandparents’ Day. Valentine’s Day. Call me a cynical Gen X’er (which I am, so go ahead – call me a cynical Gen X’er) but these are all just days blown up and out by Boomers for self-congratulations. And they are tiring. The expectations are ridiculous. Did you send a card? A gift? Did you remember everyone? Did you post on social media? Was your post p.c.? Was the phone call made in a timely manner? Were you grateful? It’s exhausting.

In some respects, I know I am not alone on this because my social media feed (which I was carefully about accessing on Mother’s Day already knowing my mood was dipping) had memes about the complications of Mother’s Day. As in: thinking of those who’ve lost their moms (me), those who wanted to be a mom but didn’t get to be (I have friends), those with complicated mother relationships (aren’t they all?), those who’ve lost children (oh, the grief), and even calling out the fact that mothering is far more than being a mother to a child. I applaud those memes. But I also didn’t feel up to reading them. I just wanted the day to end, to be honest.

And it did. 

My friend and business associate, Liz, and I had a good conversation on Monday covering all sorts of subject matters. That’s kind of our style. We free-range talk. Among the many things we  discussed was Mother’s Day and all these “days,” both of us unable to fully articulate why we felt the way we felt. I ended up saying, “It’s complicated. And also, we are adults. We’ve complicated before, so we can complicate again.” 

Father’s Day was Sunday. I knew it was coming, and I was already braced for it. I don’t really know a way around all of it. Sure, opt out. But even that is fraught with complications. So, I guess that’s it. These days – no matter what the word “days” encapsulates on any given day – are complicated. 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,” says Charles Dickens. Yes. It was a simple time. It was a complicated time.