1. There Shalt no longer be an apostrophe in the title of the Mothers Day holiday. If it belonged to one single mother alone, royal treatment would be expected, thus leading to utter disappointment. However, since few mothers are without mothers of their own, or grandmothers or village elders or sisters with kids or mom friends, let it be a collective celebration. What we share in mutual recognition of each other’s greatness will be better than any spoils we may gather and enjoy alone.
2. Thou Shalt Not do anything obligatory and unappealing. Unless it’s for your own mother, in which case: You now know how much you totally owe that lady. Do her bidding.
3. Should no one choose to or remember to buy you flowers or ask the kids to pick some from the grassy area next to the supermarket, buy or pick or plant your own. Buy two, or three, bouquets of tulips or peonies or an azalea for your garden. Or don’t. Whatever, they’re just flowers, even on this day.
4. Thou Shalt Not covet the basics. For this day, if only this day alone, there is to be no guilt, doubt or regret about indulging yourself in a silent shower or a seated meal. In fact, one should brazenly expect a moment to pee alone.
5. Thou Shalt honor thy mother-in-law, the woman who put up with all your husband’s crap long before you. Without her son, you would not be a mother. Consider also thanks to the man who made you a mother. Gratitude is best expressed by blessing him with the constant presence of his children for a prolonged period of time.
6. Thou Shalt honor thy grandmother for her strength in enduring days when women were expected to be fulfilled completely by motherhood and forgive her the ways in which she screwed up her kids, raising imperfect people who would imperfectly raise their imperfect children. Who would grow to be imperfect mothers, too.
7. On the Saturday prior to the Sunday Mothers Day celebration, Thou Shalt honor thyself with a full day separated from those who made you a mother. When you return, your sainthood status will be fully recognized and your beloved offspring will be beloved once again. There can be no honest celebration of a constant, reassuring, supportive presence without a reminder not to take that for granted. Disappear first, return to accolades. Or at least return to the same mess with an inner calm that only retreat from family can replenish.
* Seriously: If you're not flexible in motherhood, you're in real trouble. So, enjoy the day. Or don't. As you know, this too shall pass, good or bad.
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