According to Wikipedia, the intent of Anna Jarvis was simple when, in 1912, she trademarked the phrases “second Sunday in May””and “Mother’s Day” regarding a day to be set aside as a day for families to honor their mother. The spelling of the word was to be singular possessive.
When President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill that recognized the day as a national holiday, he also used the singular possessive.
According to Wikipedia, Jarvis was not pleased when Mother’s Day became so popular that the original intent was lost, and she devoted her life and resources to fighting its modification.
Some 97 years later, I think I understand what Jarvis had in mind. The influence of a mother over her child is unique. It begins with conception and ends when life is over; not the mother’s life, but the child’s. The ripple effect of a mother’s influence continues for generations and often goes unrecognized, unless one day something happens that gives us cause to question why we do the things we do.
Mothers influence their children in many ways, and of course they do not influence all of their children the same.
On Wednesday, my first daughter’s daughter delivered a son. The whole approach towards pregnancy and child birth has changed from that when my daughter was born. And while many of those changes are due to technological advances, I find the changes in attitude the most remarkable.
My daughter was allowed to stay in the room with her daughter until things reached the “pushing stage.” However, my granddaughter’s husband remained in the room during the delivery.
When our children had been born, the hospital rules would only allow my husband to see me for short periods of time during my labor. In Illinois, where my third child was born, I was forced to decide whether my husband or my mother could sit with me during labor.
Of course I chose my husband, so my mother, who had taken a bus from Miami to Woodriver to be with me had to sit alone in a waiting room on a different floor of the hospital. Hopefully, those days are gone forever.
Just as soon as the baby had been cleaned up, his dad brought digital pictures into the waiting room for all to see. Then, after a very short period of time, we were all allowed to meet Adam Paul Reed in person.
Finally, it was my turn to hold baby Adam. Then, it was time to give him back to his mother and drive back to Commerce. On my way back home, I thought about the day my granddaughter was born. Her dad had also been in the delivery room, but I had not held her until later in the day.
I had stayed with my daughter for several days after she came home from the hospital. It was years later that I learned she was not nearly ready for me to go home when I did. When her second baby was born my husband, her father, was in the hospital in Oklahoma City, and I felt as though I needed to be there with him. It would be two weeks or so after delivery before I would see either my daughter or my new granddaughter.
If it is up to my daughter, I do not think that either of my granddaughters will find themselves in the position of being without their mother when they deliver a baby. It’s that ripple effect I mentioned earlier.
The relationship between mother and child is the most intimate and the most complex of human relationships. No two are the same, yet all have common factors, the most significant are children want to please their mothers, and mothers want their children to love them.
Anna Jarvis was right on target when she came up with the idea to set aside a day for each family to honor their mother in a personal, loving manner. Just a quiet day to enjoy each others company.
Jarvis was offended when mass produced greeting cards became popular, because she saw them as an indication of one being too lazy to write a note. I understand. It is the handwritten, homemade gifts that I cherish the most. Ones like the card with crayon colored flowers I made in the 2nd grade that I found among my mother’s things after she passed away. The verse said, “In all the world there is no other, can take the place of my dear mother.”
I hope today is a good day for you. Think good thoughts. Concentrate on the good times. Take time to relax and to be appreciative of life.
Until next time,
I bid you peace