Sunday, May 9, 2010


Our daughter called recently - called just to share some news and chat while she was out walking her dog. We talked, laughed, caught up on things going on, and then each went back to our day. But it was a brighter day because of her call.

The night before her call, a similar one from her brother brightened my evening. They are both grown-up now, living their own married lives, but we are connected by that mother-child bond that links us to one another for life. Each contact with them, every memory, reminds me of how much I love being a mother – of being their mother.

As a child, growing up in the South, Mother’s Day was always a very special holiday. One special memory is of the Mother’s Day flower, usually a rose, although a carnation would also be acceptable. In our family, we always wore a rose on Mother’s Day. The tradition is that you wore a white rose if your mother was no longer living and a red rose if she was. I can remember my mother stopping at the florist across the street from our church to pick up flowers for us. Most years, however, we found a rose bush with blooms that we could pick from. My grandmother, who went to church with us, always wore a white rose, sometimes in a corsage. It was from her that I learned what the white rose symbolized. I don’t know when the tradition faded away, but I know I seldom see anyone wearing a rose for mother’s day.

Since 1981, I have been blessed with the joy of motherhood for myself. I wish my own mother had been with us longer to enjoy more time to with her grandchildren. She would have been impressed with the individuals they have become. Each year since 1987, I have missed by own mother on Mother’s Day. I miss the conversations; the sharing of traditions; just knowing she was there.

I have to admit, when Peter was first placed in my arms, I was overjoyed but also frightened. Would I be able to keep him safe, healthy, help him grow into his potential. Having a strong help-mate in their father made it less frightening; but still, I have to admit to being an overly cautious mother. When Katie was born two years later, I was still the cautious mother. With the second child, I have heard, mothers are supposed to be far less worried about germs and bumps and bruises. But, truth be told, I still worry about them, just not as much.

Being further away from our children’s day-to-day lives, and knowing they are responsible adults, I don’t stress like I did when they were young. I still tell them to drive carefully, however, when they are going on a car trip and other such motherly advice. They are polite and take my advice in stride. We’ve also reached the point where they tell us to have a safe trip, and other such cautions. It’s nice that they are concerned about us as we are about them.

Mother’s Day has a proud history as a holiday set aside to honor each individual mother. Personally, it is not only a day for remembering my own mother, it is a day for honoring the joys that motherhood has brought to me.