Mother’s Day is upon us, the most important commemoration of the year! It doesn’t get the attention of the Majors, those holidays which have been turned into economic engines such as Christmas which looms as a determinant of retail success or failure for the period, though it does contribute to the florists’ well-being for this quarter. In fact, with the advent of on-line flower sales Mother’s Day can now be handled with the click of a mouse and no longer requires a Sunday trip to honor the matriarchy.
Too bad, I say, truly too bad.
Motherhood is the most important job in the survival of the species; the most difficult as well. Just for starters a mother must provide the fetus with a secure home in which to grow at great expense to herself. Once a child is born it is the mother who nurtures, cares for, sees to and is interested in that child’s growth and development. Many fathers remain oblivious until the child is interactive in ways they understand, is able to play Catch, for instance, or starts to go out with boys thus providing a father an object of resentment. Many fathers feel content with providing material support leaving emotional understanding to the child’s mother. In modern times there are significant numbers of fathers who do take deeper interest in their children, help with the housework and are sensitive to the development of their offspring. I salute them and hope I am one of their number, but I do not think we are in the majority, more’s the pity.
We are not an easy species to raise and even with the best of will and intention we often do not turn out as desired. But mothers love us anyway. Mothers forgive us our trespasses and clean us up and give us extra chances. Mothers care for our bodies, our minds, our emotional lives and our general state of being. We worry our mothers until the day one or the other of us dies.
Mothers discovered and populated the world. The fanciful illustrations of the bands of humans wandering the earth always show the mighty hunters in the vanguard. But populations don’t grow out of bands of men. You can be sure there were women and their children in those bands and you can be fairly sure they put down roots where the women thought best.
The majority of inventions have been made by mothers, kitchen utensils by the thousands, swaddling clothes by the bushel. Weaving, cooking, gardening and the myriad demands of home-making have all been the subject of women’s thoughts and designs and the lives we live are more comfortable and nourishing because of them.
This year my deep appreciation of Motherhood is enhanced by the fact that my granddaughter is in the sixth month of a pregnancy which illustrates the difficulty of the job and the courage and fortitude displayed by mothers in the doing of it.
We are living in an era of in-vitro fertilization and other forms of “artificial” insemination. That is we are living in an era when men are no longer, strictly speaking, necessary for the increase of the human race. The same will never be true about mothers. Without Motherly Love and the unremitting hard work that it entails the human species has no chance of survival.
To all the Moms in my life I drink the toast L’chaim! To life! Without you it’s just not possible.
We love you, moms.