For over 20 years, mom has made weekly trips to see Deb, her hair dresser. Often my mother would regale me with tales of woe. Not her own, but poor Deb's. My mom, a psychotherapist by training, had great empathy for Deb, a single mother whose history was marred by misfortune. But there was only one problem with this relationship. Deb could not cut hair.
Through my work I come in contact with many folks who feel stuck. I hear their stories and see that their spirits are depleted. I work to help them solve problems related to senior relatives who need assistance but I also wish I could help them get out of their job ruts. Yet how do you get un-stuck when you have mouths to feed and a mortgage to pay?
Now, watching the young mothers flailing about in the school supplies aisle at Target, I just want to pull them aside. I want to tell them to be kinder to themselves, to go on a last picnic or trip to the beach with their kids, and to soak up the remains of the summer sun and the fleeting years with their children.
Mother's Day cards make me laugh. I'm not talking about the wild-and-bawdy cards for single-again Moms or even the sound-chip cards showcasing a chorus of tiara-topped poodles. No, I laugh at all those heartfelt cards that pour forth with flowery verses and profusions of adverbs, all designed to express some level of gratitude to mothers near and far.