Sometimes I feel there is a great wisdom in the way we human beings celebrate holidays.
When you think about it, Mother’s Day actually begins a month-long framing of our attitudes until Father’s Day arrives in June. For instance, it is a month during which we think about the sense of self-esteem we have arrived at thanks to our parents, grandparents, and all those who have nurtured our sense of who we are in some way— this was the thought which came to me this morning in reading a terrific article at EM’s place, Mind Unbound.
This is a time of year during which we become more grateful, with so much more appreciation for what it takes to be a great mom or dad. We grow in our respect for how critically important these roles are in our lives individually, and to our health and well-being as a society. We reflect on ‘ohana, the human circle of aloha, and on family; on our family. These holidays serve to keep us from being neglectful, for we reach out to keep our family close.
Yet we all know that the ability to give life biologically to another doesn’t necessarily make you a great parent; that biological part is the easy part. In fact, the physical pain of childbirth itself aside, methinks it is way too easy. Even with childbirth, having gone through that marvel twice myself, it is absolutely extraordinary how excruciating pain can in a mere moment’s time disappear completely, instantly replaced by a love greater than we could have imagined we were capable of before that moment.
I love that you can go into a store to buy a card for your mom or dad today, and find Mother’s and Father’s Day expressions of love and gratitude for so many others who have in their own way mothered and fathered you into the person you are. We can buy cards for teachers, for coaches, for friends, and for neighbors— and we should. We needn’t be related to each other to be thought of as one who nurtures through love. Even those who are younger than us can give that gift.
And it is a gift we can give. To do so is a privilege and an honor.
On this day, I am also exceptionally grateful that I have not had to be a mother for my children all on my own. They are better for having what only their father could have given them, and for having what only their self-chosen friends and mentors could have given them. The best I can do, is help them discover and welcome those opportunities.
I have to believe that there is a great wisdom which exists in life, one completely separate, and much larger than our intellect can ever grasp.
Amazing, isn’t it? Happy Mother’s Day to all of you. Let this next month of appreciating each other begin.
Archive visit; from Mother’s Day last year:
Three things for Sunday, Mom first!
The article EM wrote at Mind Unbound is called:
Career Moms: Shifting the Balance