My sister, Pattie Bosman Schlabs, submitted this poem to us for Mother’s Day. I realize it’s a little late, but I want to post it anyway, since it speaks to any mother of grown or nearly-grown children. Pattie is a wonderfully creative visual artist who teaches art and art history at the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, Maryland. She is also the mother of 3 incredible, now grown kids. Here’s a picture of her with her first grand-baby, Ophelia Mae Baker.
Happy this day to accept Problems beyond comprehension, Beyond solving, Beyond changing, To sit home at night, Because they’re out and might Have to call, Though they don’t call as promised When they get there, If they get there. Most likely they did, Chances are they’re there, Concerned with their own unsolvable problems, The ones you just guess at, Of which you are one– You hope the biggest one, Happy if you’re the only one.
My mother always said she hated Mother’s Day. Like a few other women over 50, members of the baby boomer generation, I grew up in a household where Mother’s Day was looked down upon as something artificial, created by marketers in order to sell products. So, I believed that when/if I had kids, I would probably continue to look down my nose at Mother’s Day—and would say to my kids the kind of thing my mother used to say to me: “Please don’t give me anything on Mother’s Day. Every day of the year is Mother’s Day for me. You certainly don’t have to prove your love for me on some artificially-selected day!”
When our first child was born, and my first official Mother’s Day rolled around, I was surprised to see how happy I was to get flowers from my husband. But my real change of heart didn’t happen until those years when my children’s pre-school teachers (bless their wonderful hearts) started helping my children to create little Mother’s Day presents. I remember when my oldest daughter brought home her first creation: a big flower made out of paper that opened up to reveal all kinds of nice words about mothers. (The poems were furnished by the teacher, but the flower itself was cut out by my daughter.) I found myself having to sit down—because I was crying! I couldn’t believe it: I was a complete sap! The marketers had won!