Sunday, May 11, 2008
I know you think of me as a family person, being a family therapist.
And we've talked about the sandwich generation; being a mother, meaning having a son(s) or a daughter(s), and being a child at the same time, having a mother, a father, or both. And me having two slices of bread, (k"h).*
So you would think I'd like Mother's Day, being the bologna in the sandwich.
But I have to tell you. It makes me uncomfortable and a little angry, too, this day.
I try to work on Mother's Day, as much as I can, not because I don't love my mother (we have plans for the evening) but because for many people, it's just another day. They don't celebrate it. And they come in. Predictably, there's always one patient who does celebrate it and comes in and says to me, as if I'm committing some kind of crime, Working on Mother's Day?!
Like you'd rather I didn't?
But I'm respectful. I say, It's all good. Have a seat.
The Hallmark holidays are emotionally unbearable for a lot of people. I almost feel like I should be doing group therapy on Father's Day, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, and Sweetess Day. There are more of these days, I guess, but these touchy feely ones are the ones that come to mind.
And I've never said this, really, not wanting to bring anyone down. But you have to understand, these days don't go unnoticed by people in difficult relationships, or those who may have lost someone. Not everyone thinks of the Hallmark holidays as warm and fuzzy. And it's not as if they volunteered to grieve on a day with potential to be one of those early sweet Sundays of spring, full of blossom and hope.
Stuff like that. And forgiving, forgetting, well, it's not always possible, or if it is possible, is an objective not yet met. We'll get to that this year, people think, that forgiveness piece. Maybe.
This is not to bum you out, seriously, if anything, I'm thinking, those of us who have good relationships, or passable relationships, even (you be the judge) are the lucky ones.
So the sentiment for many of us is like, I'm thankful I have this. Thank you for all you have done for me. It's because of what you do, of what you have done, that we have this.
If this fits.
But I must recommend that when you do say to people, Happy Mother's Day, that you do it with a lot of sensitivity. And with some people, think about it first. Maybe don't say it at all.
*k"h, kineyinharah wards off the evil eye. If you're new here, one of the benefits of reading is you get to learn some Yiddish.