I have mixed feelings about Mother’s Day. I enjoyed telephone chats with our three children yesterday, but I also love their spontaneous texts about a grandchild’s success (or tears) or pictures of Pacific waves rolling to shore (he knows I have a love affair with the ocean) or an email about her latest cooking accomplishment (with Kenyans or New Yorkers as guests). Hallmark—or homemade—cards are appreciated but I fondly remember the time my husband and I returned home to find our dining room table covered with a white sheet, my fine goblets filled with grape juice and a candle glowing: it was our anniversary. Flowers sent via FTD© are always appreciated but oh, those dandelions that graced our table in years gone by.
Perhaps we should begin a Day-After-Mother’s-Day celebration in which we mothers honor our children. Not only a time to laud their accomplishments but also an occasion to note their character, or the small, often unnoticed, marks they leave on the world. All of our three use words with skill and artistry. One son’s career is in the publishing industry where not only are his words influencing others but his creativity is seen in his design of book covers. Another son uses his words to help people more clearly see God’s love. Our daughter’s words not are only seen in poetry and story but in how she helps teenagers move their often muddled ideas into (semi!) coherent English.
Our daughter has never been satisfied with pat answers, a trait that has caused her heartache along with insight about God, herself and others that astounds. Our oldest son’s sense of humor is quirky and spot on. This firmly planted Californian laughs—almost giggles—at our Colorado snow on Mother’s Day and also roars at a friend’s joke over a glass of beer. Our younger son enthusiastically throws himself into his daughters’ soccer or his son’s rugby games and Daddy Daughter dances while also wholeheartedly pursuing the passion of Christian ministry.
Our daughter influences thousands of lives from around the world as she pours herself into the rarely applauded career of teaching, especially the niche of training international students to read and write English. Our sons have committed themselves to marriage and family which sometimes means they have placed their own desires on hold. I seriously doubt they see this as grave sacrifice; it is merely a fact of life that brings its own rewards as that path is lovingly chosen. In so doing they encourages their wives to be women of influence and will be seeing their children make greater marks on the world than they could personally accomplish.
These three children—now adults—are really no different than many of your own. Shall we begin this new holiday, this Day After Mother’s Day celebration? I think our children might be surprised, would certainly be encouraged, by our efforts.