My Darlings,

Well, here we are. Another year has passed and April 22nd is sneaking up on me again. I must tell you, I feel old. I really think my age is starting to show. I think I’d be depressed about it if a handsome young surfer hadn’t told me how gorgeous I was the other day. And it was just as I was waking up too! Must have a thing for older women, bless him.

I know you’re aware April 22nd is my special day, but you almost forgot last year. And that last minute card and donation you made in my name to that environmental organization – oh, what was it called, there are so many… Well, it was sweet. Still, I figured giving you a little lead time on my auspicious event couldn’t hurt.

That was April 22nd. Are you writing it down? Putting it in the iThingamajigger that’s always wrapped in your claw? I know how you kids hate using old-fashioned paper these days, not that the trees mind so much. I’d hate to have you forget again, or accidentally confuse it with the other important holidays that are celebrated around my day: Passover, Easter, Shakespeare’s birthday, the all-important “Pinapple Upside Down Cake” day (really, a day for a cake? Please, it’s not even chocolate!) or Arbor Day. Which reminds me…

Did you ever plant your live Christmas tree or did it die in slowly in your back yard like everything else?  I’m telling you, compost! That’s the secret. You can even use the coffee grounds from your morning cup. So simple, really.

I’m sorry, loves, I’m rambling.  Where was I…?

Oh! My special day. April 22nd. I said that, right? (Do write it down, won’t you?) I thought maybe this year we could celebrate together.  I would really, really love that. I do so miss the time we used to spend together.

I realize you’re busy. Heavens, how busy you are, bustling about, tapping away on that little machine in your hand. You keep telling me that it saves you time, but I haven’t seen you so enthralled with a device, since your grandmother gave you a telescope on your tenth birthday.  Eye stuck to the lens, head in the stars. You had an unnatural squint in your right eye for months.

So, yes, you’re busy. And let’s face it, you’re freaking out about things. A lot of things. War, unemployment, that election thing, retirement accounts, the squirrels nesting in your attic who are giving you insomnia (I’ll see what I can do about that), that blood test for diabetes you’re dreading, your kid’s uninspiring test scores…

It’s a lot. And you can get caught up. I’m a mother, I know things.

Turn off that crazy hot brain of yours. Breathe. Unplug your poor ears from that loud music (do you want to go deaf?) and turn off the mesmerizing glow of your screen-shaped altars; the laptop, the tablet, the personal handheld, the HD tv, even the GPS. (Get lost and like it, kids, because wherever you go, there You are.)

I’ll never understand why you all cling to these toys like bivalves determined to endure. And in the bathroom too? On the toilet? (Yes, I know about that too. Didn’t I tell you Mothers know everything?) Please, “when nature calls”, leave technology outside the stall.

I mean, My  Lands.

I think it’s time to reconnect with your species before your hands morph into deformed arthritic claws, your point of view diminished to five inches from your nose, allergic to all non-petroleum, non-plastics, and the very simple gesture of eye contact becomes a flagrant suggestive act punishable by law or forced betrothal.

What you need is a break, and what’s better than a day of relaxation, catching up with your Mother? What you need–what we both need, really—is a day off.  

Let’s, I don’t know, maybe go to the park or walk on the beach like we used to when you were little? Oh, you loved going to the beach. You were adorable, running around in your birthday suit, sand all over your bottom, building drip castles.

I know, you’re thinking, “Mom, you’re embarrassing me,” but I can’t help it. You’ll always be my baby. And I know the last thing you want is a needy, demanding mother. It’s my job to be here for you and offer love and support and encouragement, and I adore that aspect of being a mother. But I have needs. There, I said it. I know it’s whiney and demanding, but it’s true. I like a little attention. Is that wrong? I’m like you, made up mostly of water, carbon, and oxygen, and I enjoy being celebrated on my special day.

I don’t mean to lay on the maternal guilt. I could, what with the oil spills and strip mining, and I’m too much of a lady to get into detail on the greenhouse gas emissions, but I don’t think I need to tell you they’re unpleasant.

No. I won’t go to the guilt place.

I’ll simply say this: I love you. I miss you. I want to spend time with you. 

April 22nd

You didn’t write it down, did you? Put it in your claw computer, I know it won’t forget to tell you.

Now, be nice to your brothers and sisters.

And call me. I worry.

Love from your Mother,