I never celebrate Mother’s Day, either the Indonesian or the international version. I never see the importance of dedicating one day to celebrate the essence of millions of people on this earth. If you’re a woman, it’s either you’re a mother or you’re not. The same goes with a man. It’s either he’s a father or he’s not. So it is, in my opinion, not even worth mentioning.
I was taken aback when my mom asked my daughter what she would give her for Mother’s Day back in December. My daughter, unsure of what the right response would be, promised her nothing. I, on the other hand, questioned her why she was suddenly fixated on it.
“It’s the ongoing trend,” she said. “I keep seing people posting this and that regarding Mother’s Day on social media. Mothers get flowers and gifts from their children and grandchildren. Don’t you want to give something to me?”
I shrugged and answered, “It’s just another day which profits merchants and businesses all around the world. I refuse to participate in the frenzy.”
Upon hearing my opinion, my mom pouted for quite some time before we left her house that day.
This morning, my son was sitting on my lap as he was going through his first conference call. After devotion, the first task which came up was daily writing. It was writing about his teacher last week, and writing about a family member this week.
His teacher brought up the Mother’s Day celebrated on May 10. Internationally, it was celebrated on the second Sunday of May. Some of my friends, especially who live abroad, celebrated lavishly. Friends over here joined the hype by flooding the social media with respective quotes and pictures.
I still refused to participate; none of that warmed my heart. Being a mother is being a mother. It’s not that special. Or if I may say, if just by being makes someone special, we should have celebrations for every kind of existence in this world.
Being a mother, a father, a son, a daughter, a grandfather, a grandmother, and so on, and so on.
The celebrations should be distributed equally. And we’ll have a calendar full of marks of events we’ll hardly find special anymore.
Back to my son’s assigment.
So he was assigned to write something about me, in remembrance of last Mother’s Day. Maybe there was a template, some guidance of what to write. I didn’t reall notice though because I was dozing off beside him.
But then, at the end of the 30 minute session, he gave me this:
And I wept and I wept for hours. Silently and when the kids weren’t looking (they’d be upset if they saw me crying).
I didn’t know that I would need it very much on a hard day like this, on a day when I felt like the ultimate failure and embarrassment to myself. No one critizes and patronizes someone more than one self. Believe me.
The writing was given in the right time and it was accompanied by the right gesture. My boy read it to me once he finished writing it. And he gave me a big hug because he saw my teary eyes.
I don’t celebrate Mother’s Day. I was, am, and will be never interested in this kind of celebration. But I’m going to remember the gift I received from my son regarding that event in May 2020.
The paper was torn from his book. I folded it neatly and wrote down:
For me to remember that I am loved, especially when I’m feeling down.
I put it in my wallet, together with the first name label he wrote and colored when he was three years old.
Thank you, Boy, love you much.