Just like any holiday or event, Mother’s Day means something different to everyone. For some, it’s a day to be celebrated or to celebrate someone else. For others, it’s a day of mourning the loss of someone dear or having never had in the first place. A day like this, especially now, is an excellent time to observe who’s in your life to celebrate and thank.
I’m going to celebrate my mom. She was a single parent with three kids all two years apart. When she divorced, we were all under five. She retired from teaching a few years ago and has always been a big believer in the written word. That worked out well for me as an avid reader, even as a kid. She knows the most natural gift to give me is a book.
When I was little, I didn’t sleep well and would stay up late reading. One thing I was grateful for was that she never insisted I turn off the light and go to sleep. That still doesn’t work for me as an adult. It’s better to let me read. I have a book light for just such a reason. She let me escape into worlds and explore. If I hadn’t missed school for a while, she would offer to let me stay home and read, “a mental health day,” she called it. Her notes for my absence always read “she had a headache” as the excuse.
One April school break, my mom rented a farmhouse in VT. During that one week, we had a full range of weather from warm enough that we swam in the freezing cold pond to snow on the ground. There was no TV, so in the evening we sat around the living room while my mom read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe to us. We were all old enough to read on our own, but the act was one of love. As she read, we could imagine opening one of the closets in the farmhouse and walk into Narnia.
There was something about the shared experience. When I became a camp counselor as a teenager, I asked to run the cabin with the oldest girls. After lights out, and before I went to hang out with the other teenagers in the lodge, I read to the campers. The other counselors teased me, but the girls loved it. They would sit on my bed and pick what we’d read each night. The choices were often Poe, Dickenson, and Millay, limited by what I brought with me. As the substitute leader in their life, I wanted them to feel comfortable and as if they were at home. I had a great time with my campers. I think that memory and experience of being read to are why podcasts and audiobooks are so popular.
Many of us can’t see our moms, grandmothers, aunts, mothers-in-law, sisters, and other important women in our lives at this moment, but we can still celebrate. My hubby and I got gift cards to local businesses for our moms so they could treat themselves, and we could support communities. I’m hoping my mom will send lots of pics so I can see her enjoy it.
To all the moms and mother figures out there, enjoy being celebrated and loved. Remember that even the smallest acts stick with the people you love.
By the way, the photo at the top are of my mom’s hands knitting a sweater for my nephew. It’s a great sweater.