“A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”
Julia Ward Howe, a writer and lecturer, arguably is the mother of Mother’s Day in the United States, making the first known suggestion in 1872 to honor the nation’s mothers during a day dedicated to peace.
Howe would hold annual Mother’s Day meetings in Boston. On May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a joint resolution of Congress urging that the government recognize Mother’s Day.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day, one of the few holidays that can unite us all. Regardless of religious beliefs or cultural backgrounds, everyone’s got a mom. And even though we should each thank our mother every day, it’s nice that one day a year is reserved just for her.
This is the day to honor our nation’s mothers, the people who always are there to give their love unconditionally. On this day and always, in the spirit of Julia Ward Howe, we should love them back in the grandest Hallmark fashion possible.
The job of a mother is not easy to describe. Some have tried to put a mother’s role into monetary figures, breaking down all the roles a mom has to play – chauffeur, housekeeper, psychologist, CEO, bookkeeper, personal assistant, chef, etc. – and assigning an imaginary “salary” a typical mother deserves in a given year. Usually, these estimates are well into the six figures – as well they should be.
But trying to put a dollar value on a mother’s worth doesn’t make much sense. You can’t put a price tag on a kiss to make the pain go away; bedtime
stories can’t be deposited in the bank.
A mother’s work is often done far behind the scenes. For every school play costume that needs mending, for every baseball uniform that needs washing, there’s a mom somewhere quietly and patiently getting the job done. For every scraped knee that needs a Band-Aid or every broken heart in need of healing, somewhere there’s a mom up to the challenge.
This kind of work doesn’t pay very well. Often, the only reward a mom gets from her child for this hard work is a quick kiss on the cheek or a hurried thank-you before rushing out the door.
Any mom will tell you she doesn’t do these things for her children for recognition or fame. The only reward a mother needs is to know that her children are safe, well cared for and that their needs are being met – and most will do anything in their power to make this happen.
A mother’s love has no value, because it’s the most priceless thing in the world. To all the mothers out there, we wish you the very best on this special holiday. It doesn’t seem quite fair that just one day is set aside for the women who dedicate their entire lives to us for the rest of the year, but that’s the way it is.
Washington Irving should have worked for Hallmark with words like this, “A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”
To every mother out there and to mine up above, Happy Mother’s Day!
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