It's Mother's Day -- a day that stands out from the 364 others because in this twenty-four hour period, we're supposed to intentionally think about our moms and honor them. In the United States, this day brings a significant economic infusion for some businesses; we go out to restaurants in droves, and buy flowers, candy and cards in bulk.
But why do we need to have a day to honor our mothers? Shouldn't we do it every day? Well, yeah. But guess what. We lose track of time, we get caught up in other things, we get too busy, we lose sight of the trees in the forest, and bottom line, we simply take what our mothers do, and who they are, for granted.
But not today. Mom, today I want you to know how much I love you, and how much I finally appreciate all the sacrifices you made for me. As a mother myself, I can totally relate to the emotional rollercoaster ride you must have been on, and the thankless job mothering me must have seemed.
I remember when I was 18 years old, for example and thought I knew it all. There was no way I could have been convinced during that year that you had wisdom to impart to me about boys, love, health, education...my future. And though I watched you lose your cool several times - luckily for me, your tears and disappointments weren't flung at me in spiteful tirades, and you never, ever, got really rip-roaring mad. Usually you bore your emotional burden in silence.
At the end of the day, you always loved me; except that one time after I'd gotten married (too young, you'd said), and then ended up pregnant four months later, (too soon, you'd said). You didn't speak to me for weeks - the longest silent treatment you ever dished out. But you came to terms with my apparent destiny, and gathered me back in your arms despite your frustration.
I understand now that you just wanted me to have more chances in life - to pursue other interests before motherhood took all of my heart, mind, soul, and time. Ahh, well -- I have no regrets in motherhood, not the timing of it, and not the challenges of it, and thank God, neither do you. The river of time has carried me into plenty of opportunities and onto numerous rocky shores. Along the way I've had exhilarating experiences, made some great choices and also made some less-great choices.
Yet as a whole, my life is fulfilling and happy, and at any rate, I'm living the life I created. My children are beautiful, talented, loving, creative, and smart. I've done my best to mother them - without a doubt, love has always prevailed. My kids have all made a few mistakes, and they've all had some notable successes. I've sometimes been mad, sometimes sad. Such is life. I get it. As a mother, I get it even more.
I realized some years ago that you never felt confident about your abilities. I think this may be a chronic problem women, especially mothers face; the worry that we don't have the impact we wish we had on our young, and on our environment at large.
I understand now that mothers give so much of themselves that goes unnoticed, un-applauded, and often, unappreciated until much later in their lives. So, on this day, we need to make amends. We can admit and pronounce that mothers are the glue - the foundation - the ever-constant, the homing device, the compass in our children's lives. (I'm not dissing you, Dad - father's day is in June, and you'll get yours, I promise).
My mom is 82 years old, and the rigors of time, numerous joint replacements, back surgery, osteoporosis, arthritis and type 2 diabetes have robbed her of some of her independence, but none of her vitality, charm, and ability to love. My mom never needs to impose the silent treatment on me again - at 57, I've learned to listen to her - to appreciate her wisdom, and to honor her very being.
Mom, thank you for giving me life. Let me go on record to state unequivocally that you are a woman of worth and valor. You are precious to me, in every way. I wish you Happy Mother's Day today, and every day of your life.
Follow Cheryl Saban Ph.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/csaban