I had a conversation with my 3-year-old the other day about what, if anything, we were going to do for his mom on Mother’s Day. I suggested a few different options (a cake, a gift, a dance performance, etc) when I noticed my son was not all that interested in exploring the gift options for his mother. “What about my gift?” he whinely inquired, obviously nonplussed by the idea of a celebration occurring without his benefit being considered. I gently explained to him the significance of mother’s day and how it was one day (out of hundreds) that we “honor” moms everywhere. Dead silence, and then he hits back with this rejoinder, “What about kid’s day, I think we should celebrate kid’s day instead.”
I would be remiss if I, the author of a parenting blog, did not make mention of the annual phenomenon of Mother’s Day. It is arguably the biggest and most widely celebrated of all of the holidays to honor a group of individuals (sorry Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, and Secretaries Day) and is a veritable windfall for florists, chocolate makers, and long distance companies worldwide.
For some it is a requisite day to play nice with their mother’s and buy brunch, for others it is a day of humble reverence and respect paid to women who would (and in some cases have) split themselves in two for the sake of their children.
An interesting bit of trivia links the origins of Mother’s Day back to the feminist and pacifist Julia Ward Howe, who in 1870 wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in response to what she saw as unnecessary carnage and loss endured in the American Civil War as well as the Franco Prussian War. Howe’s belief was that it was women who held the responsibility to shape and influence societies on a social and political level.