Families around America gathered for brunch last Sunday in celebration of Mother’s Day.
We skipped it.
As it turns out, Mother’s Day was founded in the 19th Century to help support mother’s who had lost children to illness and war; the founder’s life mission was to prevent milk contamination and lower infant mortality rates.
Anna Jarvis, the founder of the holiday, didn’t have any children. She spent her life perpetuating her own mother’s life work and said that for her, Mother’s Day “was a day where you’d go home to spend time with your mother and thank her for all that she did.” The day was quickly commercialized, to Jarvis’ horror. She could have cashed in on being a founder of this day, but instead organized protest after protest, refuting the fundraisers and flowers that became associated with the day. Giving up everything, Jarvis insisted that the day wasn’t about cards, but about generating awareness and honest appreciation for the sacrifices made by mothers for their children.
So, this year, I didn’t buy my mother a card.
I didn’t make her one, either.
I didn’t even buy her flowers.
Instead, we attended a workshop the week before Mother’s Day at Harvey’s Farm and built planters together. There was plenty of chatter and discussion about the best way to grow plants. My mom and I spent time together, talking and getting our hands dirty.
Because that’s what moms do.
On Sunday, it was raining and our plans were dashed. Patrick suggested that I take Jasper into Boston. I picked up the phone, and invited my mom to come along for a spur of the moment trip to the Children’s Museum.
We spent the afternoon watching Jasper fearlessly leap around the exhibits. (well, except for that cage climbing thing- that ended in tears.) We smiled as he laughed, and enjoyed a quiet lunch together- just the three of us.
I didn’t buy my mom flowers, a card, or brunch. Instead, we spent time together, and celebrated the love that we get to share.
And thanks to Jasper, who showed me in his toddler way that he loves me with all that he has in the precious time that we spent together last weekend.