Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and I skipped church. It’s the one day out of the year I don’t fit in, and I’m reminded of it. It’s not so much the fact that I’m not a mother — that doesn’t bother me — it’s other people’s perceptions that I should be that do.
You know how it is at a church on a Mother’s Day. All of the mothers are asked to stand. Everyone shares how many children they have. All of the grandmothers are asked to remain standing. The one with the most gets a prize.
One year, carnations were given out to all of the mothers. It was a small church, and it was pretty obvious I was the only non-mother. I did not need to be included, and I was not offended. However, a woman who probably had great kindness in her heart strongly insisted that I take a carnation if only to honor my own mother. How can you argue with that sentiment?
It’s not that I don’t love my mother. I do, and she knows it. The carnations were supposed to go to the mothers, and I didn’t need an exception to be given one. I did not need her pity.
I know I’m not a failure, and I should have still gone to church yesterday. Perhaps I’m a little irrational this time of the year, and especially sensitive this year, but that’s just how it was this Mother’s Day.