On Saturday, I popped out to do some very necessary food shopping – and was nearly run over several times by trolleys pushed by people intent on buying flowers and chocolates for Mother’s Day, and oblivious to everything else. Harassed and harried, they didn’t see other shoppers, were rude to the assistants, and so many failed to have consideration for others around them. It was as good a day for trolley rage as I’ve seen. Standing back, I wondered if their mums would have been proud of the way they were shopping, and figured I’d much rather have nothing than have what was bought for me bought out of duty or after making others unhappy or angry.
Mother’s Day; it’s the one day in the year that a card really means more than a gift anyway. The day we celebrate mums or those who have nurtured us. I’d spent the previous weekend with my own mum, who is also known as Mrs Doyle for her persistent hospitality and offers of tea. I was able to ask her many questions about her childhood, a childhood spent in poverty and fear of a violent alcoholic father. It explained so much; her inability to sit down and relax (because her father never allowed anyone to relax, or read, they must always be working). It explained her anxiety and worry, and feelings of inferiority that at time I’ve been frustrated with; I now have compassion for that child who didn’t really have a childhood. I watched her at dinner and saw how red her hands were, from constant cleaning and from caring for others in a way that no-one really ever cared for her. And I can tell you now that I am so grateful that she is my wonderful imperfect, ever loving and supportive mum, and that I still have her with me, where many of my friends found Sunday such a difficult day because their mothers are no longer here.
Mother’s Day is, as one of my friends wrote, her birthed-me day; how can I not be grateful? What gifts can we give that ever repay a mother’s unconditional love? None that I can think of that merit trolley rage, only pride, joy and happiness.