Perhaps if my mother had died at an 'expected' age it wouldn't matter to me so much. But I was 16, beginning my A-levels and all I think about is that she hasn't been there to share in so much of my life - going to University, graduating, meeting boyfriends, buying a house, getting married, having children (oh, that most of all).
Each year it hits me that I am now supposed to revel in this day. It is a precious time when motherhood is celebrated. As a mother, it is supposed to be the best day of all, when I get treated and pampered and might get away without doing any ironing (ha!).
I am supposed to love my children bestowing me with gifts (invariably a seedling in a pot, that I shall spend many tender weeks killing). Yet I know my children love me. Just the other day, on the way back from swimming lesson and totally unprompted, my daughter tenderly stretched her hand over to me as I was driving and said, "I love you mummy," with a big smile on her face. I am blessed by many smiles and cuddles from both my children, so the 'special day' is not necessary. After all, it is far better to be loved all year round than to have a bunch of flowers delivered by Interflora once a year.
Building on that, other things niggle.
Why are flowers more expensive now than they will be next week? Oh yes, supply and demand. I'll happily have mine when they're cheaper!
As a churchgoer, my church gives a few daffodils to every woman in the congregation. Why? They are not all mothers. It would make more sense to give them to everyone who has a mother. (Or perhaps just to those who have lost a mother?)
I have noticed that I am asked to lead Mother's Day services. Because I am middle-aged and a mother it is presumed that I am the right person. Might it not be better coming from a man who appreciates what his mother/wife have done?
Even having a quiet lunch out is unpleasant because everything is labelled for Mother's Day, tends to be more expensive than normal, and I am surrounded by generations of mothers.
I know: some of these are blocks and walls that I have built up. But, as with all things, it is wise to see the other side of the coin; to remember that there are some who are going to find the day difficult. Think of the mothers of the children killed or injured in the bus crash in Switzerland on Tuesday night. Think of those whose mother has dementia and doesn't recognise them when they visit. Think of those who've recently been bereaved. Think of those whose mothers are alcholics, drug-abusers, prostitutes, abusive, a poor role-model. In that way, you can celebrate motherhood with compassion. For undoubtedly mothers are the hardest working people on the planet, which is why they are worth appreciating.
And me? I am going away for the weekend, leaving my husband to look after the kids and giving myself some space to write. Now if that isn't a treat, I don't know what is!
(And I'm going to eat the chocolate my daughter decorated for me this year!)