It’s the American day of the Mother. . . similar to the Chinese year of the dog except that ours happens annually and thankfully, mine involves very few animals of the furry nature. “So when you say similar to the Chinese. . .???” Give me a break. It was an analogy that I hadn’t fully fleshed out before typing so let’s just move on.
As I perused the major social media outlets today, I noticed a few things: first, people are really grateful for their moms. I mean really grateful. I liked that because I like moms. I was particularly impressed by the notes of adoration that some moms will never see because they still write and mail letters and have no idea what an Instagram even is. That said, if you are wondering why your kids forgot about you today, know that they didn’t; they simply forgot to tell you about the sonnet that they wrote about you for their 900 closest friends.
These online notes of respect and love lead me to my first blogosphere million dollar idea: Hall-book. (I thought about Face-mark but it had kind of a creepy ring to it. No? Anyway, the name is a work in progress.) Every holiday when you write something amazing about your mom or your dad on some social media outlet, you’ll automatically be given the option to turn your sentiments into a greeting card that is mailed to them. That way, you still look like a decent human being for sending props to the parentals online but also make sure they actually see it by sending a version of it by snail mail. I would charge $2 per card, $2.50 if I include the embarrassing picture of you and your mom on the inner tube, floating the river. I pretty much just put traditional greeting cards out of business, y’all.
The other common thread that ran through my feeds today is that everyone has a mother in some form or another. Everyone. There are some people that at times I have been positive didn’t have a mother because they, themselves, don’t seem to have a soul (which is what mothers genetically pass on. It’s true, I checked.). But, even many of them proved me wrong with photographic evidence on this very day. I was shocked and confused and driven straight to my Funkels (that’s “fake (rich) uncles” for those of you that hate mash-ups), Ben and Jerry. It felt really similar to the day Michael Jackson died – I felt betrayed and confused. So way to go, mean people, even you have access to the most sacred of all sacreds – the mom – whether I think you deserve it or not is apparently irrelevant.
I love the idea that moms come in all forms, not just the “carried you for nine months and felt the most excruciating pain of my life” kind; I read a lot of tributes today to friends, aunts, neighbors, sisters and even co-workers that were positive “motherly” influences on people’s lives. Stop and think about that for a minute and how incredible that is: without any biological connection whatsoever, with no inferred sense of responsibility, there are people who go out of their way to treat others as if they were their own child. Mind. Blown. Kind of restores your faith in humanity a bit, no? It did mine. (And if it didn’t yours, you may want to do a quick self-eval to make sure you aren’t one of those soul-less bozos I talk about up there ^^^.)
After reading all of these fantastic notes of praise and heart-felt thanks, I started reflecting on my own life and some of the people that have been “moms” to me at different times or different places in my days: a co-worker who always made me feel like I was important, that knew when I was struggling and provided chocolate to get through it and sent me texts of love and support when big things happened in my life – she was my “work” mom; a friend who is constantly there for the little things and the big things in my life, who helps me move on Saturday mornings, who loves my kids as if they were her flesh and blood – she is my “supportive” mom; a neighbor who by random acts of service and kindness and humor has pulled me out of dark places (even though she didn’t know I was in them) with laughter and love and has quickly become a dear friend and basically my twin in every sense of the word – she is my “it will all be ok” mom. None of these women are related to me by blood (although I’d claim them as sisters in a heartbeat) but have provided some of the most valuable lessons of friendship and service that I’ve ever known. They have gone out of their way to make sure that I’m going to make it and that has changed me for good.
Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without my very public, very sure-she-won’t-read-this-unless- prompted-to, ode to my own mother, Mama Jan. (This is always the part when I need a virtual Kleenex. Anyone? Anyone?). See, I’m a lucky ducky in that not only did my mom lay claim to the title of Mom to me 30-ish years ago, she fulfilled her duty every day since then. I’d be hard-pressed to find someone that was more loving, giving or serving than she is. I could go on for pages but because I have limited finger strength, I’ll just tell you the best part about my mom. Fair deal?
My mom has an uncanny knack for doing all of the small things that make a person feel loved – the notes in the lunch box (even when you are 25 and shouldn’t still be having your mom pack your lunch), the calls on random holidays, the remembering your doctor appointments, the checking on your friends, the bringing your kids a treat EVERY time she comes to visit, kinds of things that leave you feeling a little better than before you interacted with her. She shows up when she says she will (I’m not just talking about being punctual although she is that too and that is my second most favorite trait) and even when she isn’t supposed to be there, she’s there, and just showing up is half the battle most days. Mom, “I love ya more than my luggage.”
The challenge: look around your life and think about one time that someone played “mom” to you; think about the sacrifice that it took for them to give up extra time or money or talent just to get you through. If you can think of even one of these people, you are blessed. I really believe that. Once you’ve found them, give them a late Mother’s Day (proverbial if it’s awkward) kiss right on the mouth; let them know what they’ve done for you and how much you appreciate it. You may just be the “mom” that they are looking for today.