Remember when mom made you pose for those family pictures? Told you to get a haircut? Denied you a pony? This Mother’s Day, Radar offers a gentle reminder to suck it up and give thanks. Even if mom did occasionally overmedicate, undermine, or adopt the decorous phone manner of Alec Baldwin, it was probably out of love. More importantly, it could have been much worse.
I’ll be the first to admit that my relationship with my own mother (and, really, my entire family) is somewhat distant…and I’m not just referring to the fact that she’s in Wisconsin and I’m in Texas. Outside of biology, there’s really very little that we have in common, and my relationship with her (as with the rest of my family) has been very much hit-and-miss…actually much more “miss.” It’s not that I don’t love my mother, but we have nothing in common, and the history I have with my family is not exactly stellar. To say that we’re not close would be something of an understatement, akin to saying that Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader © has a problem stringing together complete sentences.
As cold as this may sound, I would be perfectly happy maintaing my distance from my family. It’s not necessarily from anything any of them have done, but that’s they way things have developed over the years, and I’ve become comfortable with it. I don’t enjoy (in fact, I actively detest) doing things out of familial “obligation”, and the sad reality is that I no longer feel any obligation. My mother and the rest of my family are all good people in their own way; I’ve just decided for my own mental health that placing a large physical and psychic distance between us is the best approach. I realize that this makes me sound like a horrible, uncaring person, and that’s really not true. It’s just that my history with my family has left me with a large store of anger and bitterness over the years, and I’ve decided that leading my life for and with the family I have now is the best approach for my own peace of mind.
So, while most of y’all will be out celebrating Mother’s Day with your mothers, I will be quietly and thankfully celebrating the fact that I simply don’t want to. The reasons why are varied and complex, and I’m not about to go into detail, but suffice it to say that I’m thankful that more than 1,000 miles separate us.
Y’all are probably going to think me a horrible, uncaring son for feeling the way I do. If so, I’ll bear that burden, because that might not be an inaccurate assessment. I’m not going to go into details about the reasons for why I feel as I do, but there you have it. If that makes me a horrible person, so be it…because I’ll be feeling the same way on Father’s Day.
I envy those of you who are close to your families, and I hope that today will be special for you. You have something I never will, in large part because I’ve made the decision that my relationship with my family will be what it is. It’s complicated, and I’m not about to explain it, but for me, at this point in my life, this is what I’ve chosen.
Happy Mother’s Day.