Mother’s Day – for a Day or a Lifetime?
Does it matter if birthdays or wedding anniversaries are forgotten? If there are no flowers on Valentine’s Day is there no love? No of course not. However it seems these celebrations have become more important (and commercial) as our community-based celebrations disappear.
The rhythm of the year affects us less so maybe we are putting more meaning into personal events. We are not all in the fields for harvest, or sheep shearing, nor indeed holding a topping off ceremony when we have all built a house in the village. In rural France which is still a very agricultural economy there seems to be a festival for every kind of event. I personally know a place where they celebrate the origins of the town, the growing of peppers, creating ham from the pigs, moving the sheep to and from higher pasture, even throwing keys off a balcony (although the point of that escapes me!). Plus Saints Days and all kinds of cultural festivals. Here in Britain the ebb and flow of life is less noticeable.
We may not be in the habit of living next door to our mothers and seeing them everyday. Many do not live in the same county or country, so Mother’s Day is a chance to reconnect. In Victorian times it was a special day when girls who were in service to a big house could go home to their mothers. As they walked back through the woods they would pick the flowers that were growing and give them to their mother.
A week before Mother’s Day this year I still was wondering what to do if none of my children wanted to see me. They have their own lives, and are parents themselves which of course is more urgent than seeing me. I didn’t want to nag or be needy so was about to make some other plan so I didn’t just have an empty day. Then I discovered that they had all decided to travel to see me and had booked a lunch in a pub. They had been busy arranging it and had forgotten to tell me (!)
It meant so much that they were coming to see me. Travelling with babies and small children can be problematic, so it was extra thoughtful that I was not travelling to see them. They also brought me presents and best of all cards with less beauty than the image in this post, and more filled with humour and warmth.
As I looked round the table yesterday I was so grateful that my children want to see me, have wanted to commit to somebody and have children of their own… not a foregone conclusion these days. I did feel the familiar twinge of sadness because my mother died when I was young, and never met my children. But so grateful for her loving legacy which has helped me be a mother and sustained me for a lifetime.