Happy Mom’s Day!
YOU’RE FILLED WITH wonder at this baby that will change your life forever. Again and again you say the things all moms say: “Don’t eat the sand!”; “Yes, your drawing’s very beautiful. What’s it meant to be?”; “You’ve had enough French fries!” Mothers talk about themselves in the third person.
A chocolate pastry and your child’s face lights up. You’ll realize later that it’s much easier to make a child happy when it’s very young. The toddler encounters the rough and tumble of the world. They fall, they cry, you dry their tears as best you can. Then comes the time when he or she shouts at you. The teenager says, “I’m going out,” and you’re fearful they won’t come home again. You worry about alcohol, youthful love affairs. They reassure you, “But Mom, I don’t drink much at all … compared to my friends.”
One day, the grown-up child leaves home. You pretend to be glad to have less laundry to do. “See you, Mommy dear …” You eagerly await their phone calls, emails, texts, any little sign of affection that they deign to send. When there are long gaps, you don’t hold it against them, they’re so busy. Sometimes you complain, “You only call us when you want a favor.” But you’re so happy to feel useful again.
Happy Mother’s Day to tiresome moms, tired moms, overbearing moms, absent moms, moms who weep, moms who make us weep, moms who take themselves too seriously, and those who don’t take anything seriously enough. Happy Mother’s Day to moms who spruce themselves up and those who don’t, to those who give without counting the cost and those you can count on. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms. I know now that you shouldn’t feel guilty; you’ve done the best you could.
ANNE ROUMANOFF is a wellknown French humorist.
She lives in Paris.