JUST THE NOTION OF THE DAY PUTS a lump in my throat for several reasons.
One, I’ve been a mother for a few decades now and, believe me, I never tire of its significance.
Some people claim that it’s a fabricated holiday, boosted by the likes of card companies and bonbon boutiques to make more money. To that, I say phooey. Also, who cares?
Mother’s Day is special. I love how my sons make an effort to remember me in thoughtful ways. It’s a reminder of what lovely young men they’ve grown into and, for that, I am very thankful. It’s also a time when we set aside the challenges of daily life to come together and celebrate the good stuff: family and food, health and hope.
Two, for those of us who have lost our moms, the day is a poignant reminder of what will never be. Tough, for sure. My mom died before we could celebrate Mother’s Day as two moms, and I lament that still. Now that I’m armed with the first-hand experience of how challenging this “job” can be, I wish with my whole heart that I could embrace Mom just once more and thank her for her tireless acts of love and courage.
Of course, she probably already knew how thankful I was because moms just know stuff. That’s what I love about our piece “Mothers Know Best,” on page 40, which explores the valuable lessons our mothers impart to us in our formative years. In this article, we ask how moms influenced daughters’ well-being by completing this line: “I grew up to...”
If I were answering the question, I would say “I grew up to…try harder.” My mother had a challenging youth. But she was an extrovert and, as such, responded to every test by defying convention and plowing on. Having an introverted kid (um, that would be me) must have been frustrating at times. Had she lived long enough, though, she would have seen that some of her spunk rubbed off on me. Sure, I’m still quiet, but I know the battles worth fighting and enter in, sword drawn.
Three, this day makes me emotional because I see the prejudice encountered by women who have chosen not to parent. I despise how others make women feel small or insignificant for not procreating. Support, not judgment, is what we should be sharing.
A healthy world begins with healthy attitudes. As women, mothers or not, we have a key role to play in fostering health and wellness so that everyone can grow up to do whatever makes them happy.
BETH THOMPSON Editor-in-chief FOLLOW ME ON BESTBETH