Mother’s Day Vs. Father’s Day
By Sheryl Kayne
Mother’s Day comes in May, followed closely by Father’s Day. It’s kind of nice having the two special days of recognition merely six weeks apart. I’m particularly thankful that Mom’s come first in May, because I’m a single mom. Dads are second in June. What really bothers me is the blatant inequality of these nationally celebrated holidays. Think about it. On Mother’s Day, we feed our moms. That second Sunday in May rolls around and every restaurant in town is reserved. People everywhere are saying the same thing: It’s Mom’s special day — let’s fatten her up.
My daughters serve me breakfast in bed, bake me a cake, and take me out to a wonderful dinner. I have to eat everything they make, including the crumbs, to show how much I appreciate their effort. From morning until night, I’m fed, fed, fed.
One year I received a box of chocolates. Since I never indulge in sweets in public, I hid the box, planning to enjoy the treats in private as soon as the house was quiet and they were all safely asleep. I love hunting and pecking through boxes of chocolates, guessing what’s inside, and having to take a little taste of each to find out for sure.
But no, that particular box of chocolates was a Mother’s Day gift so I was expected to leave all of those luscious chocolates out in the open to share with my lovely children. At least that made the job of meticulously labeling each piece of chocolate a bit easier but then there was the terrible rush to consume all of the chocolate covered nuts first.
When I was married, Father’s Day came along and for brunch, no one messed anything up in the kitchen. We stood on line at Orem’s Diner and then I picked up the tab. Then the man of the day was showered with cards and toys.
One year I heard my ex mention in January that there was a brand new tennis racket he’d like to own. Wouldn’t you know, there it was, waiting for him in June under blue, green and gold giftwrap that proclaimed: The Greatest Dad! I didn’t say a word, but I thought a few.
It’s not fair. On Mother’s Day, they fed me. On Father’s Day, they showered him with new toys. There’s a diabolical scheme to make Moms fat and keep Dads entertained.
I like toys. I’d love a new screen for my computer. I don’t play tennis, but I could use a new pair of Nike’s for my evening walks.
I’m active. I’m interesting. I love to play and I’m fun to play with! I always played games with my daughters. I found the hardest, whitest, shiniest, chalk for hopscotch, the bounciest balls for jacks, and even put brand new stronger, grabbier, longer plastic handles on the double Dutch jump ropes!
There wasn’t anything I didn’t do for those kids. I played and played.
“You fed us,” says my daughter. “You were always in the kitchen and we were always in the kitchen with you. Mother’s Day is about getting you out of the kitchen.” I appreciate the sentiment, but I still think it’s a little skewed.
This year I’m suggesting a day trip. Look around and select what you’d like to do and put a plan into action. I’ve selected Weir Farm, a National Historic Site celebrating the work of painter J. Alden Weir in the next town from ours, Wilton, CT. Currently the Weir house and studio are undergoing restoration, but the grounds are open for hiking and exploring. Look around your area to see what you can discover that you haven’t seen before and make days of celebration an exploration, burning calories and having fun.
Sheryl Kayne is the author of IMMERSION TRAVEL USA: THE BEST & MOST MEANINGFUL VOLUNTEERING, LIVING & LEARNING EXCURSIONS and VOLUNTEER VACATIONS ACROSS AMERICA. Check out her website www.immersiontraveler.com and books for volunteer and immersion travel vacations.