Let me first say, I don’t hate Mother’s Day. “Why I Hate Mother’s Day” is the title of a piece writer Anne Lamott wrote for Salon.com that takes on the way our culture views and treats mothers: “No one is more sentimentalized in America than mothers on Mother’s Day, but no one is more often blamed for the culture’s bad people and behavior.” I tend to agree. It’s a holiday designed for Hallmark more than actual mothers, and even then, the term “mother” is very narrowly defined. I am not a mother (in the traditional sense), but my own mother has been a huge influence in my life, both in good and in bad ways. Every day is Mother’s Day for me because I can’t imagine a day when I’m not talking with her on the phone, particularly when we are separated geographically by a continent.
It’s interesting, though, to think about her life, apart from the history that we share. She had her own host of dreams, including the one where she gets a horse and changes her name to “Texas Annie.” Later in life, she traded in the dream of being a cowgirl for a teaching career, which she maintained for over forty years. I, too, have become a teacher, but, ironically, I am highly allergic to horses. And whatever she is or hopes to be now that she’s retired from teaching, this is one of my favorite pictures of her: a beaming, confident girl ready to ride into the sunset.