Sunday, May 14, 2017

Something More

The year was 1967. I was in the second grade and we were tasked with making Mother's Day cards. I couldn't draw well, and I knew I couldn't draw well. So I went with a full-on swirly colorful design instead of  a recognizable image. Then, to tie it all together, I added this message:

Mom, you're psychedelic-- like LSD!

What can I say? I was a child of the sixties. I picked up on the snippets of pop culture that were swirling around me. I can't imagine what my teacher thought.

My mom was not even remotely psychedelic. (Just in case that needs to be cleared up.) I had no earthly idea what LSD was. (You probably knew that, too.) I was just trying to do something cool. In my own way. Using the abilities that I possessed.

I have now been a mom for over 30 years. Something I have learned is how important it is to celebrate your children when they do just that. If they feel safe in your love and acceptance, they will keep trying, again and again, to do something cool, in their own way, using the abilities they possess.

Sometimes we worry that what our kids do reflects on us in a way that makes us look bad. We find ourselves cringing a bit, trying to reshape/modify/edit their unfiltered expressions. "Are you sure you want to wear stripes and flowers and plaid?"

Maybe that's because we don't give ourselves enough credit. How often do we celebrate ourselves, as mothers, for doing cool things in our own way using the abilities we possess? How often do we let ourselves feel that exhilaration of being ourselves and living our truth? Unfiltered, unmodified, unedited?

That's my message for Mother's Day this year. I feel sure that you will get plenty of the "Mom is always there for us, nurturing, remembering the important stuff, selflessly sacrificing", etc. etc. We all know the drill. And I don't deny the importance of the support and caregiving and all of the emotional labor that mothers do.

But maybe Mother's  Day, she thought, shouldn't come from a store. Maybe Mother's Day could be something more.

Happy Mother's Day. Be yourself, love yourself. Heck, be psychedelic if you want to.

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