One size never fits all

Not all childhoods are wonderful.

Not everyone has a great mom, and not everyone has a good relationship with their mother. For them, Mother’s Day is more than a bit fraught.

Some people who do have a great relationship with a great mother still have some issues with the Mother’s Day holiday. Some of them wish they could have children, but for whatever reason don’t, and Mother’s Day becomes just another reminder of how much society still measures a woman’s worth by whether or not she’s a mom. Some of them had a great relationship with their own mothers, but those mothers are no longer among the living, and mother’s day is a very painful reminder of that loss.

I’m well aware that I quite lucked out in the mom department. Certainly compared to some folks I know. I’ve never had my mom tell me that she would put me back in her will if only I would divorce my spouse, for instance. My mom has never had to plea bargain her way out of several theft and fraud charges to avoid jail time. My mom wasn’t physically abusive, or otherwise like the parents in any of the horror stories you will find if you delve into the backgrounds of children at Child Haven.

And she’s quite cool. She’s the person who introduced me to both science fiction and comic books as a child. Just this last week we had a long geek-out session together via text message because X-men: First Class is currently her favorite movie. Mom was my writing buddy for November’s NaNoWriMo. My mom encouraged my interest in science most of the times that people in the fundamentalist churches we attended warned her that my interest in such things as paleontology, relativity, and the like were inspired by the devil. More often than not during my childhood mom erred on the side of being inclusive, tolerant, and accepting of people who were different than us.

Do I wish that she were happy for Michael and I when we were finally able to legally marry? Yeah. While I’m glad that she seems to genuinely like Michael, that she’s welcomed him into her house, and that she refers to him as her other son, I wish she could come around to seeing our relationship as not sinful. But it could be a lot worse. It has been a lot worse. Sometimes you have to be thankful for what progress you get.

When I started this post, I had intended to publish it last Sunday. But I read enough interesting exchanges on various social media between some people who’s relationship with Mother’s Day is more complicated than the typical Hallmark commercial, and I felt like a bit of an interloper or even impostor for even drafting this.

It’s as if I don’t quite feel I have the right to talk about what issues I and my mom do have. Particularly since I’m hardly the ideal Hallmark son, myself.

We muddle along fairly well, in no small part due to her firm belief that part of loving a person is being in their corner, even when you don’t agree.


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About fontfolly

I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. I write fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and nonfiction. I used to publish an anthropomorphic sci-fi/space opera literary fanzine. I attend and work on the staff for several anthropormorphics, anime, and science fiction conventions. I live near Seattle with my wonderful husband, still completely amazed that he puts up with me at all.

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