This is how we do Mother’s Day around here. She gets her day in May, and I get mine in June, alongside all the other dudes.*
I know we two female-people parent combos (and two male-people parent combos) have many choices when we approach these binary parental holidays, Mothers’ and Fathers’. In my beloved’s and my case, how we divided it up feels inspired. Each of us gets all the watts we need shone upon us, all day long, on different days. Of course it helps that I do not now, nor have I ever felt like a “mother.”
Fortunately the thought of referring to me as such is just as absurd-sounding to my kids as it is to me, thereby proving, yet again, the casual simplicity of gender non-normativity and the ease with which kids of such folks apprehend it. Parent, sure. More of a dad, even, they both say readily, than a mom. Knowing also that I am a female person, more or less. At nine and eleven they have a capacity to perceive, comprehend, and assimilate tones between black and white, and I think this quality will serve them well.
At any rate: my not-so-motherliness provides us latitude to gang up and lavish attention on The Mama all day long, one of the most reliably enjoyable ways the kids and I could imagine spending a Sunday.
Highlights I’ll wager Mama would name include her nine year-old son reading Mary Oliver poetry to her while she lounged in a bubble bath (yes he did! and eagerly!). And the sushi dinner on the roof with the city settling all around us as the sun set over behind Mount Tamalpias across the bay.
Many of the things we did on Mama’s day were nearly unimaginable with these people even a few years back. It gets harder – the travails! and our inability to dispatch them now with mere kiss and embrace! (We knew this day would come and lo, it is here). Yet the sweetness, the marvel of it all. I can’t say which takes my breath away more: the palpable dissolution of the younger children they once were, right before our very eyes, or the undeniable emergence of their complex, amazing older and older selves. I can say that I couldn’t possibly be breathlessly witnessing this alongside a more stupendous co-conspirator.
* The t-shirt I’m sporting in the picture above I got years and years ago from Greg Allen, longtime publisher of Daddy Types. Just checked; seems he may not be peddling them any more. A shame, since clearly I poked a hole in this one some time back.