Mother's Day Pride
"A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child." Sophia Loren
Mother's Day started as a trumped-up holiday to enhance greeting card sales. Over the years it's evolved into a venerated American tradition. In this day and age, I'm okay with that.
Because Mother's Day, no matter its cynical beginnings or its explosion into crass commercial commerce, should focus on the people it purports to represent--Mothers--and their sacrifice and love.
Mother's Day shouldn't be about diamonds or washing machines or even flowers. It shouldn't be about capitalizing on guilty sentiment. Good, bad or indifferent, almost every mother on the face of the earth is familiar with hard work, genuine sacrifice and unconditional love.
If we've been raised with even halfway decent standards, those are our greatest offerings. Trust me, they don't come easy. And they come with a far heavier price than any gift you can buy at FTD.com, Tiffany's or Home Depot.
We don't want much for Mother's Day either. Really. We want to know we've had an impact, made a difference. In the end, that's what matters to a good mother. And being human, most of us just want a little of the recognition and acknowledgement we more than deserve.
When our kids were little, we cherished every smudged drawing, each grubby ceramic statue, all those potholders, poems and crushed peonies proclaiming that Mom was loved.
As they grew, most of us only wanted our kids to say Thanks, Mom. Maybe a small bouquet. An inexpensive gift. Even a card. Just something to let us know that all those sleepless nights and anxious days weren't for nothing.
Two years ago, my son sent me flowers for Mother's Day with the ultimate, pure college kid card ... you couldn't make this one up if you tried.
Last year he gave me and his father the gift of heart-bursting pride by graduating with honors on Mother's Day.
This year, out in the world working, living on his own, I thought maybe a card, another bouquet ... or even that he'd forget and come to me sincerely apologetic sometime next week.
But once again he managed to blow me away. By honoring not just me, but two of his aunts and one of his grandmothers ... my survivor sisters and my late mother-in-law.
Here's the Mother's Day gift message I just received. It tells me the job I've done as a mother--with the help of his father and our extended family--is just about complete.