Being a mother is probably the best — if most difficult — job a woman undertakes in her life. The pay stinks. The work is often difficult. Sometimes the rewards are hard to see until much later. Still, it is satisfying beyond words.
The woman who is responsible for Mothers’ Day being a national holiday was named Anna Jarvis. Sometime in the early 1900s, she decided that mothers everywhere — and her mother in particular — should be honored. She started lobbying, locally at first, and then built up steam. Her efforts were rewarded a number of years later when President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation in 1914 that made Mothers’ Day a national holiday. Greeting card companies and florists around the globe cheered. The truth is, however, that she later regretted her efforts because she felt the holiday got too commercialized.
I’m happy to be a mother, but I will admit to not being a particular fan of Mothers’ Day. In this already stressful world, it seems darnright mean to make people try to figure out what to give to their mother/grandmother/mother-of-their-children when they likely don’t need a single thing. Only Hallmark and Godiva and Proflowers.com truly like Mothers’ Day. Every year at Mass, the priests ask the mothers to stand for a blessing. I am proud to do so, but I never fail to feel sad for the women who don’t have children for any number of reasons. Miscarriages, deaths, estrangement, never married, or even choice.
This year, however, we went to church with Dave and Jll and the kids, because Adelaide was being confirmed. I’m happy to say that at Wellshire Presbyterian Church, while we prayed for all mothers during the prayers for the people, mothers were not asked to stand up. Well played, my friends, well played.
Now, if being a mother is a satisfying job, being a grandmother is the Gig of a Lifetime. All the satisfaction without any of the responsibilities. God’s reward for getting through the years with your own teenagers and beyond. (Let’s face it, motherhood and its responsibilities don’t stop when the child turns 18.)
I was proud beyond words to watch Addie be called to the front of the church to proclaim her love for God and to be confirmed in her faith. Now that’s a Mothers’ Day gift for this Nana.
Following church, we gathered at Dave and Jll’s house, not only to honor Addie, but to celebrate Jll and her mother and Dave’s mother and me surrounded by some of the people we love most. What’s more, Maggie Faith turns 10 this week, and we celebrated early because yesterday afternoon, her father and his mother left for the airport, where they are going to fly to Poland for a two week visit. The Uber driver was quite taken aback when he saw the crowd sending them off! Allen and Heather will join Dave and his mother in a few days.
In this age of technology, while Heather and Lauren and the boys are far, far away in Vermont, they were still able to celebrate with us via FaceTime…..
They even joined us in singing Happy Birthday to the almost-10-year-old…..
Then there were the presents…..
So, one more Mothers’ Day behind me, and years of joyful Nana-ing ahead.