Mothers. We all have one. Most often it’s the woman who gave birth to you, but it might not be. It could be the woman who fostered or adopted you. It could be the aunt or grandmother who raised you when your biological mother could not. Some children have two mothers. Whoever you call your mother, this Sunday is the day set aside to honor her for her love and sacrifices. Of course, we should honor our mothers every minute of every day if only in the simple things like a kiss and I love you when you leave for school in the morning or go to bed at night. Or perhaps by offering to wash the dishes after dinner without having to be asked. How about cleaning your room merely because it’s messy.
While celebrated world-wide, the tradition of setting aside a day to honor our mothers began officially in the United States in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure setting aside the second Sunday in May. Anna Jarvis created the idea for the holiday in 1908 but would later denounce the commercialization of the holiday and spend the rest of her life campaigning to have it removed from the calendar. Her vision was one of a personal holiday between a mother and her family, one where you would wear a white carnation as a badge, visit your mother, and attend church as a family.
It’s a day traditionally celebrated with cards, gifts, flowers, and a family dinner mother presumably does not have to cook or clean up after. Teachers lead school children in the creation of macaroni artwork and hand prints in paint or plaster to bring home to their mother. Some mothers are served a lovingly prepared breakfast in bed of orange juice, cereal with too much milk and sugar, and heavily-buttered burnt toast. If dad helps, breakfast might include a much appreciated cup of coffee to wash it all down.
When my children were small, I remember getting tiny bouquets of violets or dandelions clutched tight in their sweaty little hands and presented with a big smile. Hand-drawn I love you Mommy cards and dandelion bouquets were some of my best Mothers Day gifts. Not to say I don’t appreciate the grown-up gifts of chocolates, wine, spa baskets, books, and the like delivered by post and followed by the I love you Mom phone calls.
Being a mother has been the hardest, and most rewarding, job I’ve ever had to do in my life. It’s made me realize just how much my own mother had to do, had to give up, over the years to raise five children. I was not always perfect, and there may have been times they wished they could fire me and hire someone else, but in the end I have two wonderful happy adult children successful in their jobs and NOT living at home.
Whether you are lucky enough to still have your mother, as I am, or whether your mother has since passed on from this world, take time on Sunday to remember all the wonderful things your mother did for you over the years. Forget any petty arguments or ill-will you may still harbor and give her a call to say I love you, Mom, and I appreciate all the things you’ve done for me.
I love you, Mom, and I appreciate all the things you’ve done for me.