My mother came home one day a few weeks ago, and in her typical take-charge attitude, proclaimed she'd found the perfect mother's day gift for herself.
That's right. A gift from her daughters. A gift she picked out all by herself.
She'd found out that Brookfield Zoo is opening its brand-new Great Bear Wilderness exhibit this weekend. Seeing as my sister and I call her Ms. Bear, I half wonder if she thought the zoo had decided to dedicate an entire wing to her.
But I digress. She wants to go to the zoo and out for a nice meal, so that's most likely where we'll be Sunday.
Mother's Day. The day in which we honor the strong woman who gave us life, gave us life-lesson lectures and loved us unconditionally, even if we rolled our eyes and didn't always listen to those life-lesson lectures. So they repeat them over and over.
Case in point: My mother and I have this ongoing argument at least once a week. Well, it's not exactly an argument. It's more like a friendly mother-daughter debate. Sometimes it takes place while we're engrossed in a friendly and fierce game of Yahtzee. Other times, I tend to just blurt it out at the most random moments, like when we're folding laundry or going though the day's mail.
"I love you so much more than you'll ever love me," I say in all seriousness.
Now, I don't mean for it to sound that creepy, but that's honestly how I feel.
My simple 11-word admission inevitably leads to both of us following the exact same script. Every. Single. Time.
"That is so not true," she says as if I'd just admitted something so reprehensible that she can barely believe it.
"Oh, but it's true," I reply in my most earnest of voices. "I'd do anything for you."
Again, I'd like to re-state my non-creepy intentions here.
"You couldn't possibly know that you love me more than I love you," my mother states matter-of-factly.
Ah, I saw what she was trying to do. She was trying to bring logic and analytical thinking into our emotional (at least on my end) discussion.
That's the point in our friendly debate where she usually dropped the bomb.
"You've never had kids."
And it's in that moment that I realize I stand no match against my mother's argument. She's got me. And I know it.
I don't have kids, so I have nothing to compare my love for my mother to. She's felt love from both sides - as a daughter and as a mother. And as she always tells me, she loves her mother deeply, but she fell in love with her children the day she became a mother herself.
Maybe that's why I've always been in awe of mothers. Of the way they sacrifice for their children. Of the way their love flows on unconditionally, like an even, calm river. Of the way they never have to think twice in doing everything and anything for their children.
That was it. Mothers don't have to think about it. They just do it. I wonder if something in their DNA changes the second they meet their bundle of joy. Maybe motherhood does literally change you for the rest of your life. In the best way possible.
For that reason alone, mothers should command the utmost respect.
In the end, if that is the only thing my mother and I ever fight about, I can live with that. I suppose it's just what you do when you love someone that much.
Happy Mother's Day. Don't forget to tell your mom - and every special woman in your life - what she means to you. Today and always.