09 May Contemplations for Mother’s Day
by Joan Kelley Walker
Mother’s Day is a time to remember that a mother’s love know no bounds with a depth that is endless and never self-serving. It seems natural and expected to celebrate those who gave us life, which has been the case for thousands of years. Throughout history, there are many references about celebrating mothers as far back as The Ancient Greek and Romans. In North America the roots of an actual day for Mothers is credited to two dynamic women, Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jervis, who are considered to be the Mothers of Mother’s Day.
Today Mother’s Day is one of the most popular celebrations of the year, after Christmas and Valentine’s Day and as such, often falls into commercialization. Many countries around the world celebrate this tradition to appreciate and honor their Mothers as I do today.
It’s impossible for me to think about Mother’s Day without thinking of my own mom. My mom is a tiny lady, a bit of a power house who tells it like it is, so who better to ask for thoughts on motherhood and Mother’s Day than my Mom?
I was surprised to hear her say that she ‘wishes she had done more.” What I remember about my mom, when I was a child, is lots of hugs for no reason at all, my head in her lap with her rubbing my hair and neck, her listening intently even if she was busy and I didn’t have anything important to say (she still is a great listener by the way) I remember her decorating the skating rink for my figure skating shows, helping me prepare for 4H judging, doing all the driving and sitting for hours while my sister and I swam, played ball, did track meets, her taking me and my sister and two friends camping for a week! And so much more!
Why is it as mothers we always wish we could do more or did more? Maybe as we reflect back on our lives as we raised our children, we have a better perspective and are not caught up in the day to day busy-ness. Priorities may be easier to see in hindsight from a distance and with time. (I want to be that type of mother who has perspective now!!)
“Back then” my mom says, she was, “Proud to hang white wash of Purity Diapers on the clothes line. There were no disposable diapers then. We didn’t have a dryer either. It was the wind and the clotheslines and the sun to make it white.” She considered it a “joy to care for that bundle. It was such a pleasure as well as a huge responsibility. It is a miracle when a baby arrives.”
Nothing has changed there, babies are still miracles! I’m sure most people would be happy not to have to wash diapers but my Mom’s words ring true for countless generations of mothers (proudly hanging their clean laundry outside.)
More words of wisdom from my mom: ‘Following a child as they grow up was meaningful. School, friends, playtime, church, and life’s lessons, togetherness all the time. That’s the most important thing. Love in a family.”
My own kids are getting so big and mature, it’s all happening so quickly. I feel very busy with them, caring for them, driving them around. It gives me purpose and great pleasure. I admit, I am not looking forward when they leave and go out on their own. I think I will miss them a lot but I will follow my Mom’s footsteps and remember her advice “When your kids are of an age to leave home you hope they remember what you taught them, so make sure you teach them to be responsible and self-sufficient. You can’t live on their doorstep once they’ve left home. You can’t go back.”
I wonder what it will be like for me when I am old and my own kids are parents. I hope I remember my mom’s words “Later in life with the many great accomplishments that your children do, its most rewarding for parents. A loving family is a happy family, at any stage in life.” Such beautiful words from such a beautiful mother. Thank you mom!
My husband is very supportive. He often tells me that I am a good mother, a very loving mother. I always say I learned it from my mom. It’s a pay it forward opportunity if ever there was one. It’s something deep in your soul that fills your heart on all days but especially for Mother’s Day! I love you mom. I wish a very warm Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, my sister, my mother in law, my sisters in law, my friends, my aunts, to all grandmothers and special friends who help us raise our children! Happy Mother’s Day.
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