Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Why have a Mother's Day?

I was lucky enough to spend Mother's day with all four of our children, albeit not at the same time.  That doesn’t happen every year.  We juggled schedules and extended families' celebrations to make it happen.  My two daughters and I went out for a lovely brunch in the morning and later my husband and I threw a barbecue dinner for our sons' families.

Thanks to social media this year I read all sorts of opinions on Mother's Day.  Sure, we don't need a commercial holiday to tell us to appreciate our mothers.  For that matter, why do we need any designated holiday to honor any specific person or event?

There's no one holiday I can think of that's celebrated by every person.   But in the reality of most of our busy lives, holidays make it easier for us to come together as a family, or surrogate families, and spend some time with the people who are important to us, should we choose to do so.

When it comes to parenting, my husband has often said that we parents of each generation take the best of how our parents raised us, leave behind the bad, and hopefully become better parents than our own.  These recent years Mother's day has been for me a time to not only think of myself as a mother, but of my children and the parents they've become.  I'm proud to watch them take the good, eliminate the bad, and become better than we were.

A few weeks ago one of my daughters was relaying to me a conversation she had with a friend.  They were discussing the everyday fear you have of just getting through the day with toddlers and keeping them safe.  It reminded me of a passage I read in a book I was reading at the time when my own children were teenagers and young adults.  It resonated with me so much I copied it down. 

"All the times when he and I lay like this, side by side, in the dark, unsure, unknowing, scared as children; while the children moved dangerously around in the world, learning to be adults."

I didn’t mention at the time that the fear they feel today will never leave them, mostly because I know she already knows that.

So this past Sunday I was able to tell my daughters how proud I am of not only the women they are, but the mothers they are.  And on Father's Day I will take the opportunity to make a special point to tell my sons how proud I am of the fathers they've become, as well as thank my husband for being the father he is and my partner in parenting.  And I will remember my own father even though he is gone.  I'll do this because parenting is a damn hard job and I think it’s nice to have a day to remind us to remember those who helped us become the people we are and appreciate those who choose to take on the job.

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