Mother’s Day in the Bitchin’ Kitchen is not like those celebrated by other women I know. For instance, I have no thoughts toward Mama-palooza; as a new-found friend enjoyed this late weekend. I have no desires of delivered corsages or expensive brunches and twinkling jewels to envelope my aura. I keep my expectations very low. In part my consideration of Mother’s Day is related to my own ‘birthing into mothering.’ Last week LittleEinstein asked me if TeenPrince gave birth to me as a mom. I laughed as we made our way through the garden aisle at targay, but by the time we had ventured to the sales racks I realized that LittleEinstein was right, in my gestating and laboring through Mother’s Day 1994, the TeenPrince who was then a speggy of a babe mawing and stretching toward his own birth had also given partus to myself as a MOTHER. I know this is fairly trite logic and so obvious as to be absurd in mentioning here – but my own first Mother’s Day set the tone for what has become a ritual of sorts. I was in the 5th week of labor – YES, it is true… I labor in the first, active, stage that should not be confused with Braxton-Hicks or the latent stage of partruition. Lucky me – I began the first stage of labor and effaced in the cervix at 3 cm dilating during the first week of April so that by time the President of the United States made Proclamation 6683 – I was so over the whole birthing experience. I was in the hospital much the day before and released early in the morning getting just a few winks before brunch found me at a little cafe with a ridiculous straw hat topping my largesse and lumbering frame. It was not a pretty sight. I wanted nothing more than to be let alone and to be with me – yet I was hunkered in with in-laws and friends about who were well meaning yet oppressive to me on that day.
The very best Mother’s Day moments have actually come accidentally or by weird circumstance. For instance, this last weekend I spent much of the time with the kids and my Twinergy who came to play with us. It was a fun-filled jaunting that seemed too much by the time Sunday morning came. Mother’s Day looked to be in ruins and when my brother kidnapped me, telling the boys; “I’m taking your mother out for a bit,” it seemed to be all awry. In spite of appearances the day was lovely I tell you! We meandered about, doing nothing really and I just got to relax… so that when I returned home, I felt joy in being a mother again.

A few years back (quite a few now), another Mother’s Day seemed equally doomed. BigShot who has never been especially savvy at the expression of emotions and most especially resents mandatory emotive response [such as are required at holidays] has a history of blowing it badly at those times. So when it looked ugly – and I mean really ugly, because there was no effort at all toward honoring the day and least of all me – my bestest friend came with wine bottle in hand and we drank away the afternoon watching her partner chase the kids up and down our block. We drank some more over steaks that BigShot made and we invibed some more wine for dessert that magically appeared ‘neath grandma’s willow tree tinkling with lights and kiddie laughter. It is still the best Mother’s Day I ever had, with friends and loveables all about while the kids got into trouble and everyone enjoyed the moment of it.And yet another holiday which seemed a failed to all around was a magnificent one for me, I got a pedi-mani away from the boys and enjoyed the spa like experience of hot towels and massage oils so that my return in time for dinner was genuinely a treat. And last year I wanted nothing more than that the boys (all of them) got along, played nice and we finished a few house projects… By time dinner came VERY much too tardy in the evening it seemed a wasted expense to enjoy, but we ventured to a little italian baresque and had a late dinner where the waitress showed off the tea sets and elgance normally reserved for the expensive crowd. I loved eating a good meal and laughing with the family – being a respected matriarche for at least one part of a day.Ultimately, the day is not about the pomp and circumstance of the gifting and getting – it’s about the peace and serenity of joyful parenting. For me it is about taking care of my psyche and basquing in the reflexive self-care that I do not get throughout much of the year. And it is in this light that the history of Mother’s Day is more prominent – more connected to my experience. The day has varried origins connected to prominent beliefs and traditions in the native community. For instance, the Vernal Equinox and even the Ides of March (15th) are recognized as important to the holiday; and yet the ancient Romans also had another holiday, Matronalia, that was dedicated to Juno, though it is mothers who were usually given gifts on this day. Naming the day is an important ancient tradition and the month of May whose lexicon is identified with the Greek goddess Maia, and with the Roman era goddess of fertility, Bona Dea, begins with the sun in the sign of Taurus. Astronomically speaking, the sun begins in the constellation of Aries and ends in the constellation of Taurus. Additionally, legend says that Romans abducted the Sabine women to populate the newly built town, the first recorded example of bride kidnapping. The resultant conflict ended only by the women throwing themselves and their children between the armies of their fathers and their husbands. The Rape of the Sabine Women (“rape” in this context meaning “kidnapping” rather than its modern meaning, see raptio) became a common motif in art; the women ending the war forms a less frequent but still reappearing motif. I suppose my dear readers who know me well get the connectedness of all this to my life.Which brings me back to my own traditions… Mother’s Day is about taking care of the self for the sake of the children. It is about repairing the psyche and respecting the orgins of family-life in all it’s formations… It is about the honor of the care and keeping of the love in a familial, rather than romantic sense. It is about concerning oneself with the one and also the global relation of birthing and nurturing.Julia Ward Howe is recognized as organizing this day in America for the benefit of world peace at the outbreak world hostilities during the post-civil war period. I say a modern interpreation is not only for a global peace, but an inner-peace as well… in her own words:

Mother’s Day Proclamation
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:”We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn

All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.
“Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,

Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

a bitchin feminista mama at the intersection of political quagmire and real life.

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