So it’s that one day in the year, once again, when we honor the moms. As it happens, and giving due consideration to the English, Greek, and Roman roots of a day that celebrates mothers, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day as an American holiday this year. President Woodrow Wilson signed a Congressional resolution on Saturday, May 9, 1914, proclaiming the second Sunday in May as a day to honor moms. (Interestingly, the resolution focuses on displaying flags “as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.” As a blogger who’s always learning, the flag will be out all day, something I don’t think I’ve ever done on Mother’s Day.)
Joyce Clyde Hall started what became Hallmark Cards in 1910. While Hallmark and Mother’s Day go together like children and their mothers, there is no evidence that Mr. Hall—barely out of his teens in 1914—persuaded Congress and the President of the United States to create a holiday so he could get rich. Still, the holiday certainly drives greeting cards sales, and when long distance telephoning represented a measurable expense for most people, lots of bucks got spent on Mother’s Day, checking in with mom. But the holiday represents much, much more than a chance to buy a card and call your mother. And no, I’m talking about throwing a brunch or dinner.
I know lots and lots of moms. I’ve got mine, and I live with one, and hers lives a few miles away. I work with many moms, and have many friends whose children call them “Mother,” “Momma,” “Mom,” or some variant. I’m blessed to have them all in my life, in various ways, for they are all extraordinary in their commitment to their children.
My mom, who by any measure has led an extraordinary life, also lives a few miles away. She remains a “go to” in any difficult situation. She’s wise and strong, and as generous as anyone I know. My sisters and I are l lucky to have her, and to still have her with us!
Ms. J has been a great mom to our daughter. We have raised our daughter with lots of daddy-daughter time—the times have changed since I was a little boy, with dads playing a much bigger role in child-rearing than they did—but, when the chips are down and something really matters, it’s “momma” who our daughter calls, and momma who takes over. The kid and I are lucky to have Ms. J!
The rest of the moms I know, from my mother-in-law to my co-workers and my friends, all bring different skills and styles to the mothering process. Candidly, I know not so much about any of these relationships. I know this, though: every mom I know loves her children dearly, and would do anything she needed to do to make her children’s lives better. Anything!!!
I know the world is not a perfect place, not every mom gets it right all the time, and some children suffer greatly. (Rest assured that I won’t be talking about dads getting it right on Father’s Day.) For this and every other Mother’s Day, though, we honor mothers for their dedication to the singular act of bringing our successors into this world, nurturing them, and helping prepare them to take the keys when it’s time for us to go. Thanks, moms, for all you have done and for all you do!!!
P.S. An old friend celebrates her birthday today. Seeing her birthday notice on Facebook brought to mind the important lesson she taught me almost 30 years ago: always get down to your child’s level when you’re speaking. My friend is not so tall, so it’s easier for her, and for me returning to vertical presents challenges, but the lesson has stuck. We’re big to a young child. Talking to them from “up here” must be very scary and intimidating! Thanks, Laury B, and have a very wonderful birthday/Mother’s Day.