No, that’s not accurate. I don’t know how to feel about mother’s day and teacher’s day. I’m both a mother and a teacher. But I don’t think I did anything special to be in those roles. Or that they are any more special than any of my other roles, so much so that I should be happy and thankful if someone says ‘Happy mother’s day.’
I just happen to be a mother. And I just happen to be a teacher.
This year both mother’s day and teacher’s day took me by surprise a bit. Teacher’s day is not a thing in Japan, but mother’s day is. I felt really awkward responding to the few teacher’s day messages I got from people back home. I think I didn’t respond to some of them. But on mother’s day, the volume of messages was surreal.
You see, it was my first mother’s day. I didn’t realise it was mother’s day until I noticed a flower shop that’s usually closed on Sundays was open. Then I saw about three messages on my phone. This was Sunday morning Japan time. Soon after that, I started to quietly dread the messages that would arrive once it was Sunday in Jamaica.
On Monday morning, I had 26 WhatsApp messages. By lunchtime, I had 17 more.
On the train, I slowly made my way through the messages. At some point, my response became, ‘Thanks for thinking of me,’ and my tension melted.
It was nice to see messages from some people I hadn’t spoken to in months; to catch up with them a bit. And I really appreciated that they had thought about me. I hadn’t sent a single mother’s day message, so it also gave me a chance to send return wishes to people who I truly think are great mothers.
I didn’t end up feeling a special feeling that, Oh, I’m a mother, and today is my day. But it was a nice opener to have a little chat with old friends and a good chance to big up some mama friends.