Today is 5/12/13, so to all those moms out there, happy Pythagoras Day! And I know what you're thinking. It's a shame that a cruel twist of the calendar would cause Mother's Day to be overshadowed by our culture's universal love of geometry.
I have nothing against Mother's Day, personally. I'm all for honoring mom, and for giving consumer spending another artificial kick in the pants. I'm all for calling my own mom, to tell her I love her and to please stop voting Republican. I support breakfast in bed, clayed handprints, crayoned love notes, cuddles, kisses, all of it. Motherhood is sacred, and essential, and America, and YES.
But there are two reasons it leaves me ambivalent. For one, I really hope that one day Father's Day can be as big a deal. (Or at least bigger than "Hey, it's June. Let's move some pliers.") And I don't want a handout, either. I want us to earn it, to deserve it, to knock our brains out being the dads our kids need.
Some days, though, the idea seems elusive. I have alerts set up for as much fatherly news as Lord Google can find, and a lot of the stories aren't all that encouraging. You can read only so many headlines about dads with phrases like "shoots son in the liver" and "robs area convenience store" and "watches p0rn on Dad's phone" before you start muttering to yourself, "C'mon, you jags. Do better."
Mother's Day also reminds me of how much of a drag it is not to be in love with the mother of my kids. But I really can't complain (much). Things with Moxie are pretty okay right now. We're friendly, and we see eye-to-eye on most things when it comes to the boys, and that's a lot more than I can say for several friends, whose marriages have blown apart terribly (or are about to). It's just that building a life with someone was one of my primary life goals (even though I had absolutely no idea how to do it), and having failed will always be that little bit of sand in the underpants that won't ever fully rinse away.
I like Pythagoras Day because, unlike life, his theorem is simple, elegant, and eminently provable. Fitting that his day only comes around 11 times per century.