Sunday, May 8, 2011

Make Your Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all! I remember when I used to depend on others to make my holidays special. Invariably, this led to some disappointments, sometimes large, sometimes small. There were birthdays when kids forgot to call me from college, anniversaries when my husband worked, Christmases when I didn’t get the present I really wanted. (When, if ever, is someone in my family going to take me seriously about that sweetly chiming Zen alarm clock?) But I’ve moved on, those days are over.
            A friend of mine not long ago told me about a friend of hers who was celebrating her birthday all week. She went out to lunch with her favorite pals, pampered herself, even threw herself a small birthday bash. I decided to try this approach on a modest scale on my own birthday. I bought myself a new aromatic soy candle and some special treats at Whole Foods, and spent the day reading. I was delighted when others remembered my birthday, but to tell you the truth, it wouldn’t have mattered too much if they’d forgotten. I was having such a good time by myself.
            This brings me around to Mother’s Day, another holiday when we expect others—especially our children—to honor us. My kids (perhaps with some prompting from my husband) have always been good about this. They’ve made me countless breakfasts in bed, painted me pictures, drawn cards, even brought me jewelry and flowers.  But to be honest, on occasion they’ve... er... stumbled. (Even on Mother's Day, it's sometimes hard for three young boys to stop teasing each other and hurling footballs through windows. And teens, who live in an alternate universe, can be rather forgetful.)
            But why put it all on the kids? I’ve decided that we, as mothers, are perfectly capable of creating our own glorious day. After all, we created and planned our kids’ days for many a year, hauling them to the park to play, taking them on fun vacations, making sure that they ate healthy foods and got plenty of rest.
            So I propose that we treat ourselves like royalty this Mother’s Day. Do, eat, think, read, be whatever you want, whether your kids are home with you or not.  I’ve already booked an early morning yoga class, and invited my eldest son (the other two are at college) over for take-out (unless he wants to cook). A lovely afternoon of gardening would be nice, too, but if it rains I’ll simply finish a novel.
            Long ago, my first yoga teacher told me that we create our days, that through our thoughts, words, and deeds we design our own reality. At the time, I thought she was a little "out there." But I’ve come to believe that she was right. We are in charge of our own happiness, and barring tornadoes, wars and the like, I believe that it’s up to us to make or break our day.
            This Mother’s Day I plan to honor myself and my children….and even if one forgets to call, or another burns dinner—I intend to have fun!  Moms, I hope you’ll join me. Hug your kids and enjoy the extraordinary gift of their existence, but to tweak a line from Clint Eastwood, “Go ahead, make your own day! “

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