Why should Mother’s Day be celebrated? Well, take a moment to think of a mother in your life. It can be your own mom, a good friend who was like a mother to you, or maybe think of yourself. What characteristics does this mother possess? The majority of us think something along the lines of:
How does she get that way? Through hours, days, weeks and years of selfless giving, which is what’s expected of her from day one. The day she held you—no, the day she became pregnant with you (or found out she’d get to adopt you)—that was when the giving began:
Mother, you gave your physical body for me, not just for 9 months, but for years. Your body provided the milk that sustained me and bore the worry and stress when that supply started fading. Your body bore my kicking and screaming when I was an ornery toddler that didn’t want to leave the store without a candy bar. As you tried to work off the extra pregnancy weight you gained while helping me grow, I saw how, in some ways, it was never the same again. Your body hurt for me when my first boyfriend broke my heart and you couldn’t go beat him up like you wanted to. That same body held me close when I cried about hard decisions and rejoiced with me when accomplishments were made. You gave your body for me for so many years and it now shows the marks of its hard work. That body which, to me, is so beautiful, even though you sometimes can’t see that yourself.
Mother, you gave me your time. You made a 24-hour day seem like it had 38 because of everything you accomplished. You quit your career for me so you could give me more hours face to face, and when you had to go back to work, you made those hours together even more meaningful. You balanced everything so well, yet I bet you felt like you were making a mess of it all.
Mother, you gave me your patience. You read and reread the same book because you saw how happy I was sitting in your lap, enjoying it. You took deep breaths when I pushed you to the edge of your sanity, and cried when you snapped and yelled too loudly. You held your tongue so I could make decisions for myself, even though your experience already taught you that lesson. And you wait by the phone for when life is convenient enough for me to call you, because you worry you’d interrupt something if you were the one to make that call.
Mother, you gave me your forgiveness. You forgave the damage I did to your lady parts when I ripped you during delivery. Sex was never the same, and yet you didn’t hold that against me. (And thanks for not bringing that up in detail…) You swallowed your hurt when my teenage moodiness cut you to your core with my rude remarks. Even the little things you forgave, like that time I forgot your birthday. Or the time I remembered, but made you a coupon book that I never followed through with…. which was also filled with things I, honestly, should have been doing already.
Mother, you gave me your knowledge. Every day, you passed on information about numbers and letters, the safe from the dangerous, good manners and apologies, right and wrong. You explained that my body is a temple and taught me how to take care of it. I learned from observing your decisions and your service. And on those days when I made a mistake, when I chose the wrong path, I learned from your advice and the council I sought.
Mother, you gave me your smile. Though obviously you had no control over what my body would look like, yours passed down the beautiful genes that make strangers remark on our likeness. You taught me to use that smile to brighten others around me and lift weary spirits. And you taught me how to utilize it to drive a man crazy!
Mother, you gave me your love, which is the greatest gift you had.
This is why Mother’s Day is so important. Because she did all of this and more, because YOU now do all of this and more, the least we can do is take one day every year to celebrate the amazing women we call mom. She gave us all of this–what will you give in return?