Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Revisited

Most everyone realizes that Mother’s Day is a holiday that was started by some smart merchandisers, as was Father’s Day. Even though we know that, it still feels good to be acknowledged. Mothers work hard raising their kids. It’s not that they don’t deserve to be celebrated. For people who have lost their mothers, or for parents who have lost a child, it can be a painful reminder. It can be a little bit like New Year’s Eve – if you don’t have a date, you don’t know what to do with yourself. Parents and children all have different styles, which can sometimes lead to miscommunication. Here’s a recent example:

Sitting around a card table a week before Mother’s Day, one of the players said, “What are you doing for Mother’s Day?” One mother proudly said that her children were coming in and taking her to their home in the country for the weekend, where they were all going to have a glorious time. Another said she had been invited to a large Mother’s Day brunch. A third mother announced that her children were taking her to a hit Broadway show. The fourth person was silent with a stony look on her face. “And what have you planned?” they all chirped gaily. “Nothing,” was the reply.

The day before Mother’s Day, she received a call. “Hey mom, what are you doing tomorrow?” “Nothing,” replied the mother, who had made alternate plans just in case. “But it’s Mother’s Day!” the child said. “Really?” said the mother, “I never thought you’d ask.” The child replied that she’d been extremely busy and the mother testily answered “So have I.” The family met the following day at a coffee shop and the mother was not smiling sweetly. The daughter then produced flowers and a wonderful gift that she had made and said, “Mom, we’ve spent the last ten Mother’s Days together. I don’t want you to ever think about it again, just assume we’ll be together.” And that was that. The stylistic difference in this particular family is that the mother plans way ahead, while the daughter seems to be a spur-of-the-moment kind of person.

It gets complicated when our grown children marry and there are two mothers to consider. Some solve this by each child going with their own parent. Some split the day, seeing one mother for lunch and one for dinner. A happier solution is to blend the two families and spend the day together. No matter how it’s worked out, mothers like to be acknowledged. Happy (belated) Mother’s Day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Creating A Life of Your Own

Becoming a grandparent can be one of the biggest thrills of a lifetime. Unfortunately, there is a negative aspect as well. Many of us have a fear of uselessness, growing older and 
"killing time." This concept seems sad to us. Time is too valuable.
People in their 60's and early 70's are often worried about giving up a job and filling their days. Many people define themselves by their careers. What then? Some grandparents become completely involved with their grandchildren, who become the focus of their lives.
Others find solace in playing bridge, canasta or Mah Jong. Some people travel and find hobbies that interest them. 
We cannot depend on our children to fill our lives. That is our job.

Many of us feel that we should be doing more. We should not let age define who we are. Some people think "old" at age 30.  Old is in your mind. Keeping young is having a positive attitude and always looking for new challenges and opportunities.