It started with the ancients honoring mothers even though ancient cultures did not regard women as equal citizens. Lauding Mother has rung throughout the ages.
America’s celebration of mothers began on a dark note more than a century ago. It was a day for mothers to mourn sons lost in World War One and work toward peace. As wars came and went, the day became a time to honor all mothers. It became a happy day.
The day’s original crafters would want you to know that it’s not Mothers’ Day–in celebration of all mothers. It’s Mother’s Day–when you’re supposed to visit and thank your own.
Some still hold the babes, wipe the noses, and change the diapers. Others joust with school-borne illnesses, sibling rivalries, and picking up Legos after stepping on one in bare feet. It’s the little ones that hurt the most.
For some of us, the babes grew up and had their own–may still have more. And some of those babes have grown and had their own now too.
Life is a sacred passage. Being a child turns into becoming a parent. The seasons pass too quickly from sleepless nights to piles of laundry on college weekends. Then weddings, then children–we hope.
Over the years, we forget the exhaustion that comes with fussy babies and sick children. We remember our lack of patience and wonder whether what we gave was enough. But even our mistakes don’t have to be wasted.
“Good parents use the mistakes they did in the past when they were young to advise the children God gave to them to prevent them from repeating those mistakes again” (Israelmore Ayivor).
But the next generation will stumble also. And so the seasons unfold. Imperfect humans pass on the stamp of imperfection. Yet we stamp each other with love and understanding too–and the eventual realization that our mothers did their best–and in spite of our exhaustion or fear or life circumstance, we did too.
We have to forgive ourselves and each other for our stumblings.
The stamp of imago Dei–the image we bear–makes it all sacred.
Celebrate your mother–in life or in memory. Celebrate those you hold, those you’ve held, and, if you’re a mom, those who hold you in their hearts for all you’ve done. Celebrate your part in the seasons of bringing others through to their grown-up time.
Celebrate Mother’s Day every day you can.