Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

            Brunch.  Hallmark cards.  Flowers.  Hugs.  Kisses.  Pictures.  Car-washing.  Dinner.  Mother’s Day…What is it?  On the outside a seemingly arbitrary day set aside to honor our mothers, grandmothers, and wives (one day maybe…), but in reality so much more.
            On Mother’s Day, household roles shift.  364 days a year my mom toils around the house, making dinner, doing laundry, cleaning (on top of her job and countless volunteer projects).  One day a year, mom sits in bed while we make her breakfast, and wash her car.  For one day a year, she sits back, relaxes, and watches us do the dirty work for a change.  We buy her cute cards, take her out to a fancy dinner, and treat her with the utmost respect and cordiality.
            But why is this day so important?  What is it about the second Sunday in May that brings out our best manners and appreciation?  In the end, the answer is pretty boring.  The idea of Mother’s Day has been around a long time, but it wasn’t until Woodrow Wilson declared it a National Holiday in 1914 that it became popular in the United States.
            Since then, Mother’s Day has become one of the most commercialized holidays, amongst the leaders in card and flower sales.  In fact, many dismiss the day as another consumer scam.  Regardless, I would argue that our reasoning behind Mother’s Day isn’t even that important.
            I don’t care how much money Hallmark makes on Mother’s Day each year.  I don’t care how many flowers are sold.  I don’t care how many long-distance phone calls are made.  There’s something oddly touching about honoring our mothers for no particular reason.  The truth is that we shouldn’t need a reason to go out of our way for our mothers.  If a quiet Sunday with brunch and flowers makes my mom happy, then that’s certainly good enough reason for me.
            So, to all those moms out there: Happy Mother’s Day.  You deserve it.

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