Mothers’ Day, a day set aside to let our mothers know how much we appreciate all that they are and all that they have done to help us along the sometimes bumpy road of becoming. While it is nice to be recognized on a special day, those of us who are mothers and grandmothers receive recognition every day of our lives.
This recognition has many forms: a brilliant smile when we arrive at our grandchildren’s homes; the hugs they so willingly give us; the miraculously cured aches and pains whenever we lift them into our arms; a simple phrase like “play with me, grandma” becomes a symphony to our ears; a drawing decorated with those “very special stickers” that their little hands so proudly made for us; an exchange of funny faces upon each departure, in order to ease the sadness we feel parting from one another; and the happy memories we hold onto until we are together once again. These are just a few of the ways in which our grandchildren enrich our otherwise ordinary lives.
We constantly receive recognition from our children. As much as we appreciate the card, small gift, email or phone call, our greatest present on Mothers’ Day is seeing our children blossom into the adults we always hoped they would become; young women and men who demonstrate a love for family and friends, possess strong values, display ethical behavior and are fair and open-minded. When our children display these strengths of character, our entire being swells with pride. The self-doubt that plagued us at times during our children’s developmental years disappears as both they and we age and grow wiser together.
When our children become parents, we receive further recognition upon seeing them pass their childhood memories onto their children: warm hugs after a trying day, Band-Aids covering phantom scrapes, kissing away tears of frustration, empathizing with hurt feelings, laughing over silly jokes that make little to no sense, making loud noises just for fun, blowing bubbles in tub water, playing pretend for hours on end, and always finding the time to listen, really listen.
Whenever I am thanked for babysitting, I want to say “Thank you!” Thank you for trusting me with your most precious gifts, your two beautiful daughters. Thank you for reaffirming my belief that I was on the right track those many years ago, when I was riddled with self-doubt about my parenting skills. Thank you for enabling me to witness your exceptional devotion to each other and its affect upon your warm, loving children. As I observe you, I realize that you may be experiencing doubt over some of your decisions, but you should know that self-doubt is the sign of good parenting. It makes you think about your interactions in life, mull them over and reassess each situation. We don’t know all the answers, but we do our best when we think about the consequences of our actions.
So on this Mother’s Day, I want to let all mothers know that you have the most important job in life, far more important than any CEO of a big corporation. You are the CEOs of human development. You are the major shareholder in the values and ethics that will mold the future of this world. Your job is far from easy. It is often accompanied with tears, angst and frustration, but it is never dull, and its rewards are immeasurable. We, who have gone before you and generations to follow, place our trust in you. And from what I have witnessed through my limited involvement in the lives of my granddaughters, their friends and families, the future is in wonderful hands,
Happy Mother’s Day! This little phrase comes with deep appreciation and heartfelt thanks.