With the day to honour our mother’s fast approaching this weekend, I wanted to take a different spin around the block than write the traditional mother’s day homage or thank-you message.
It is true that we don’t know how much mothers or mother figures actually do for us in our lives until we have children of our own. Oftentimes, we take moms for granted. The little gifts of time such as making lunches, driving to various places, an extra load of laundry at near midnight can all be overlooked by the ones on the receiving end. Mothers can feel overworked and unappreciated very easily, but they are foot-soldier resilient and march on to get the job done — even when her Wonder Woman cape is in that midnight load of laundry.
But, that’s what Mother’s day is all about, right? The one official day in a year that we show how much we love her, and how full of gratitude we are for her efforts, and how special she is. One day. Just one day out of 365.
Straight up let me tell you something. As a mother.
For all of the missed thank-yous, for the forgotten clarinets at home that got delivered to band practice, or the 2 a.m. finishing of Shakespeare assignments, or of the tedious hours waiting in E.R. for asparagus stalks to be removed from a nose, I couldn’t be a mother without you – my children. Being a mother is the greatest gift I have been given and has created the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn.
I wouldn’t know how love pierces a heart that comes from the first time your tiny fingers curled around mine. I wouldn’t know what excitement looks like from the first time you rode a bike with no hands. I wouldn’t know the worry waiting during surgical reconstruction of your face when you fell off that bike. I wouldn’t know the frustration of getting you to sit still in church and the mortification when you pulled the fire alarm to get out of it. I wouldn’t know authentic undiluted happiness from the first time our new puppy licked your face. I wouldn’t know how to comfort when you weren’t invited to the birthday party, or give advice when so-called friends ganged up on you. I wouldn’t know a sense of determination to fight for your rights as a human being or know breath-halting pride when you walked across the stage together at graduation. I wouldn’t know the feeling of tear-running relief that you made a milestone the professionals said you would never reach. I wouldn’t know how to have patience when I picked you up from a gathering worse-for-wear after your ‘first’ drink or the reassurance that you trusted me enough to call. Most of all I wouldn’t know how to laugh.
It’s the laughter that has carried me through those missed thank-you’s and overlooked efforts. Like the time you cooked Kraft dinner in the new electric kettle because I told you not to use the stove while I was out. The time the penny dropped as heavily as your tears while eating venison burgers after realizing that meat came from animals. Then the long month after in which you became a seven-year-old vegetarian. The time you scaled the fence to avoid trouble, got stuck by your belt loops, so upside down slipped out of your pants to get away. What about when you were 15 and naively asked me how to season a leg of lamb so it didn’t taste like meat. Then there was the time completing a grade nine assignment when you blank-faced, jaw-dropped realized that “Nanny” wasn’t your grandmothers’ real name.
These are the times I remember and carry in my heart as a mother. These are the qualities my children have taught me to have. Qualities for which I am proud to have learned. To me, these are what Mother’s day is all about. It’s about what my children have given to me and who they have made me.
While these are memories personal to me, it is memories and moments like these that all mothers carry in their hearts. It’s these times that teach a mother to love and how to be a mother 24/7/365 – not just one day.
So, this Mother’s Day, while jewelry is pretty and flowers smell nice try something more simple. Some returned time being spent with your mother, mother-in-law, mother figure, or grandmother may be the best way to celebrate her and to thank her for the moments of life she has given to you – not just on one day of the year, but 24/7/365.
K-J Millar | Journalist
Send K-J email
Follow us on Twitter