A few months ago I wrote this poem for my daughters. I sent it to my Mom, an accomplished writer, and she said it was really sad. For this woman to say something I wrote is too sad to post is like Eeyore telling Winnie The Pooh that his whole “‘Oh Bother’ catchphrase is bumming people out, and incidentally red really just isn’t his color.” This is a woman who breaks her back to make the most magical Christmases for her children and grandchildren, and then every December 25th around 9am, amidst the whole family in piles of wrapping paper and bows, enjoying the food and toys and gifts she’s slaved over for weeks, audibly sighs and declares to no one in particular, “Well, that’s Christmas.” Our smiles drop momentarily as we each look down at our snowman-shaped mugs of coffee or gaze out the family room window at nothing in particular before someone brightly volunteers to help put together a four thousand piece lego spaceship-escape-room just to break the silence and stave off the fog of misery that has descended upon the room, seemingly originating from the decades-old, yellowing angel figurine atop the Christmas tree who used to symbolize Christmas magic but now just reminds us all of our slow march toward whatever afterlife awaits.
Dammit I love that woman.
Here’s where my mind is today: Mother’s Day is complicated for a lot of women. It brings up a lot of big feelings. Feelings like guilt, pressure, and regret. Motherhood is the greatest blessing, but it’s not for the faint of heart. It can be downright lonely and sad. If you’re feeling that way today, just know you’re not alone.
A Poem For My Daughters (Things No One Tells You)
Someday you’ll cry in the shower
Or on your closet floor
Hide muffled sobs from little ears through a laundry room door
Pain has a way of washing up like waves upon a shore
And crying is the only way your heart makes room for more…
…More patience, humor, grit, and grace, to weather what’s in store
You’re lonely now but you’ll survive like all of us before.
Well, that’s Mother’s Day.