So yesterday was Mother’s Day. In my childhood memories, we always celebrated this holiday by getting dressed up and going out for brunch or out for dinner. When I became a mom, I very much fought against this tradition. “I just want a day off,” I’d say. I just wanted to lay in bed and have some alone time, without the people who made it possible for me to celebrate this day.
As a young mother, I worked because I needed something of my own that I didn’t share with my children. I spent most of my day consumed with their schedule, their diet, their activities, carpools, need for new clothes, etcetera. I still needed “me” time and that came through work (and my friends, of course). But that left me… exhausted. I’ve said it before: women can do everything but perhaps not all at the same time.
Now that my kids are older, I truly enjoy spending time with them. I don’t feel the need to schedule every Saturday night away from them, nor do I want to lock myself in my room and have some quiet time on Mother’s Day. I genuinely enjoy them as people, because they don’t “need” me for everything anymore, and we an just live in the same space and do things we like together.
So yesterday, though I had planned to lay around all day, I went to exercise with my son (he ran and I walked but we went together nonetheless). My daughter worked most of the day so after my husband made dinner (and cleaned it up!) while I waited for to return home and review all the TikTok content from Saturday night’s Taylor Swift concert in Philly, I started down a rabbit hole of old scrapbooks.
I’ve kept a scrapbook of my life every year since seventh grade. Most of them are in pretty good shape and give an overview of where I was in my life each year.. what I did, who my closest friends were, where I traveled. Sometimes I need to be reminded of who I am and why I do what I do – looking through scrapbooks helps to re-center the rest of my life.
Recently I watched the documentary: “Judy Blume Forever” on Amazon Prime. In it, they talked about all the tweens and teens who wrote to Judy Blume back in the 1980s – and how many of them she read and personally responded to. I was one of those kids. I didn’t have any idea thousands of other kid were doing the same, I just knew at the time I wanted to be Judy Blume and I reached out to her for writing advice, clearly sharing a lot of details about my life, and she responded in such a personal way.
In my scrapbook tunnel last night, I went digging and I found the book that held the letter. It was actually part of a book I made junior year in high school for a class, in which we collaged and scrapbooked important moments in our life. That letter was one of those moments. At 17 years old, receiving that letter from Judy Blume was in my “highlight reel,” as we call it today.
I read the letter over and over last night. I obviously shared some pretty detailed stories with her, and she seemed to respond to them point by point. Today, teenagers make TikToks and try to get them to go viral so Taylor Swift will see them. I suppose it’s a similar kind of purpose.
Reading the letter reminded me of three things:
- Remember why I’m doing what I do.
- Don’t rush content.
- Enjoy the moment.
I hope her letter brings you some happy nostalgia. I hope you got to do what you wanted on Mother’s Day (whether you are a mother, have a mother, had a mother, will be a mother or want to be a mother). I will continue to remember her advice, and also to remember that this very famous, well-loved woman (and mother) took time out of her life to write me a letter in 1986. And I will remember to enjoy my moments, to have fun in what I’m doing and to soak up every minute I get to spend with these young adults that used to need me so much, and are now just really great people with whom I love to hang out.