Last Sunday was Mother’s Day. Mother’s Days past (boy that is a mouthful) have found me whining. I’ve Got the Mother’s Day Blues was a post analyzing those pesky expectations attached to the holiday.
“We just know on this Mother’s Day (1) the kids will remember the day- the second Sunday of May (although aren’t we entitled to a designated date so we don’t leave this to chance?!) (2) at least one of them will plan a gathering, usually involving food, where we can relax and spend time together; (3) the Happy Mother’s Day call will be the first one they make that day; (4) maybe the ding-a-ling of the doorbell will usher in a bouquet of blossoms from our babies; (5) they will understand the way the postal service works and your card or package will actually arrive in a timely fashion.
I’m happy to report, despite the distance, my kids exceeded my expectations this Mother’s Day. Flowers and lounge wear, handmade cards from grandchildren, and FaceTime sessions filled my heart with love. So why at the end of the day was there still a hole in my heart?
This pandemic is hard. (Understatement alert!) My kids and grandchildren live 600+ miles away from me. I don’t know when I’m going to be able to see them in real time. I’m truly grateful for Zoom, Google duo, and FaceTime, but I miss their touch. I miss hugging and kissing them.
Psychotherapist Lori Gotlieb says what we are experiencing is skin hunger. Just by being human we crave touch. Northwestern University professor Alexandra Solomon says touch releases serotonin. Serotonin is often called the happy chemical because it contributes to wellbeing and happiness. I guess that explains the hole in my heart. And it’s not just the absence of kid cuddles; I miss hugging my friends too. It makes me happy to spend time in proximity with my pals.
My husband and I took a walk Sunday morning. One yard we came upon was filled with garden flower signs in honor of Mother’s Day.
Jim noted how my smile took up all the real estate on my face as I beheld this bevy of beauties. Chalk drawings with inspirational messages such as “Don’t Lose Hope” and “The Sun will Shine Again” embellished the bridge over a neighboring lagoon. I guess touch is not the only sense to make us content.
Arriving home my friend Vicki’s smile greeted me from my email inbox. She has enlisted the help of her retired Orthopedist husband to color her hair. (She rewarded him with a homemade lemon meringue pie which probably made him smile.)
So, Mother’s Day or any other day, maybe we are learning the smallest acts can make us smile. Ok, ok, and I promise, no more whiney blog posts about Mother’s Day.