This week is one of the best for moms. I try and get my children to understand that while secrets aren’t helpful, surprises can be. They’ve learned over the years to keep mum (ha!) about certain things, like
Mother’s Day celebrations and gifts
They weren’t always good at it. There were times when they’d just run straight in from school waving the card they’d made in class shouting excitedly that they’d made something as a surprise. Gradually they became more sophisticated at it; they’d be overly furtive, dropping hints that something was going on in an attempt to get the relevant parent worked up. "Ha! You’ll NEVER guess what we did in class today... It’s a SECRET!" No James Bond villains, these.
Hopefully there will be some very surprised moms on Sunday. Or at least moms who have the good grace to feign surprise. Perhaps Mother’s Day in your home isn’t a surprise at all, and your plans involve mom knowing what’s going down. Maybe you’re a single mom with a small child who isn’t likely to do anything at all. In that case, I hope you have friends who will help you celebrate the great job you’re doing.
I wish I had just one more day with my Mum to tell her how much I appreciated everything
she did for me. The crazy thing is, she’d love to hear me say so, but she never did any of it in expectation of thanks or praise. She mothered me out of love.
Now I look at the old photographs, the ones she printed out and held with her own hands and appreciate her with thoughts, the occasional tear.
In a digital world, there are far more photos of family time. The pictures of my childhood are well-known to me, a couple of hundred are stored in a box, and that’s it. Perhaps two dozen snaps of me as a baby. Our family holidays. They can’t possibly detail all of the parenting that went on, they just hint at it. Pictures of my children are all over. I record almost everything, and I wonder if this will give them more insight into me as a parent once they are grown.
I share them with my brothers overseas so that they can participate in their lives, and it’s a different way of being a family.
There are one or two pictures which stand out of my Mum. There’s one where she’s holding me as a tiny infant, just staring at my face. Another of her as a dignified woman, capable of anything. And yet another where she’s dancing on a table at a party. I love those.
Let’s hope that teachers, dads, family and friends all pitch together this weekend to help kids celebrate the moms in their lives.
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