I, Mother

I am reminded it is American Mother’s Day. (I always forget, as here in the UK it is months earlier, and the origins of the holiday are about allowing the workers to return to their ‘mother’ parish, not about celebrating ‘mommy’) Still, it has become an expected cultural landmark in the US of A, and many they will enjoy this holiday; please feel celebrated.

Personally, I have a hard time celebrating myslef because it feels a bit like crossing from joy to vanity and I don’t know where that line is, and that’s just me. I do wish for the carefree laughter that goes with a good party, but for me I’m not sure that can be planned – at least not as a national holiday.

‘You are like lightning, spreading love and care around, then you withdraw back.’

I did have an unexpected and notable gift once, a piece of paper with a poem on it, from one of my sons. I am so glad his teacher let him write what he wanted, and didn’t make him use some trite stock phrases. He made this:and it was the most wonderful sentiment. How cool is it to be lightning – in a flash he attributes that I spread goodness, and then, importantly, I go away. For me that is it. Being a mother is not about me at all. It is about the children who notice the world around them, who don’t need me. I don’t mean either that I am useless or that they walk away and never interact, just that it isn’t because of me that anything happens. And it is when something happens to show that sense of beyond, that I am so happy.

Just the other day, over a board game with my (not so small) children, and one of them rolled the dice and said SIX! I looked and said, but that’s five? – with a smile and without a pause for breath came:

‘That is according to your limited perspective.’

(Can I put a thousand ❤️❤️❤️ there?) Even in wit, when there is evidence of looking beyond- beyond now, beyond need, toward imagination, oh that is what makes me smile.

Being a mother for me is not about a list of achievements or a pat on the back on one day, it is about the daily interactions, seeing others who can think for themselves, who can teach me to smell the unbloomed roses before they’re grown.


  1. Algot Runeman

    Any way one looks at it, celebration is powerful.

    At the same time, in our household, Mothers Day isn’t a fete of note because my beloved wife and I agree that enriching commercial card printers isn’t a good reason for a “holdiay”.

    Still, we are about to have a special breakfast prepared by our not so young daughter.

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