Mother’s Day was always been THE holiday in my house when I was growing up. Since my mother was raising my four sisters and me by herself, we all felt that it was a very special day to acknowledge her and show her how special she was to all of us. Of course, she also insisted in presents for Father’s Day – which only seemed right – plus we never minded an opportunity to have a party!
So, when I got married and had my first child (Jennifer), I was expecting a very similar celebration. Jenny was about 8 months old and Pat (my hubby) worked Sunday through Thursdays, the 3-11 pm shift. I figured I would get a small trinket from my husband on our daughter’s behalf – or at least some flowers. After all — I had been the good daughter and daughter-in-law – I had sent flowers and a card to my mom and to Pat’s mom for the happy occasion. My mother had actually sent me flowers for my very first Mother’s Day!
Since Pat worked the evening shift, I thought there would be a card and flowers when I got up in the morning — or at least a card since we had very little money. However, there was nothing. In fact, Pat didn’t even wish me a Happy Mother’s Day – since I’m not his mother. Since Jenny didn’t talk yet, I had to pretend that she knew how important the day was to me.
Pat wasn’t a big fan of Mother’s Day and felt it wasn’t necessary since as far as he was concerned, every day is Mother’s Day – so why would he buy into the “Hallmark Holiday” and spend money unnecessarily. I really tried to understand this and pretended not to care about the whole thing – silently vowing that I would train MY children to give gifts on this day even if their father didn’t believe in the day. And — I would show him — he wasn’t going to get a Father’s Day present from me – after all, HE isn’t my father!
Pat left for work and I spent the afternoon stewing about the whole situation. I was really hurt, but just didn’t quite know how to make Pat understand. I was picking up around the house (I do my best housework when I’m angry), when all of a sudden Pat showed up at the front door with flowers in hand! He apologized for not having something for my first Mother’s Day, kissed me and went right back to work.
Now for the rest of the story — Pat works in a medical record department at a hospital. At that time he was the only man in a staff of about 30 women. When he arrived at work, all of the women asked him what he had given me for my first Mother’s Day – and he proceeded to give them the same speech as he gave me. Well, that did not go over at all with these women! They told him he was an idiot and to get his butt to the gift shop and buy me some flowers. They didn’t care if he believed in Mother’s Day or that I was not his mother — I deserved to get something from him because I had given him a beautiful baby girl! How dare he think that he was off the hook for some type of present or a card! Pat did as he was told and went to the gift shop for flowers and brought them to me (a 40 minute round trip!).
Mother’s Day is celebrated every year in our house and every year I get something from my children and from their father. The women in Pat’s office still ask every year what he has given me for Mother’s Day – and Pat makes sure that he can tell them something specific — because there is nothing worse than being verbally assaulted by a bunch of mothers who are defending one of their own on Mother’s Day.