Today is Mother’s Day. Greetings and best wishes are all over Facebook. People have changed their profile pictures to ones of their mothers either with or without themselves. All over sellers of cards, flowers, and almost anything you can imagine are rubbing their hands together with the boost in sales as people seek to recognize the impact mother’s have had in their lives.
Today in church the minister related the history of mother’s day which was not created by the Hallmark. The first mother’s day was celebrated in a Methodist church in the United States when a daughter gave all the women a white carnation in honour of her mother who had died. This was expanded upon the next year in that church and then spread throughout North American churches.
The other day my daughter and I were watching TV when yet another Mother’s Day related commercial came on. It was from a florist who was encouraging us to have a bouquet sent to our mothers to make them smile. My daughter commented that mothers would smile if you handed them a twig, or a weed from the back yard. It is true isn’t it? How many mothers have smiled and bravely dug into a child created concoction served to us by proud children? How many have little picture frames made of twigs, hand prints, macaroni necklaces etc. tucked away in our closets or hanging on our walls?
It isn’t specifically flowers, or cards or other gifts that make us smile on this day and any other, it is the presence of a person so close to us showing that they think we are special to them. So, happy Mother’s Day and may your children pick you a dandelion to make you smile!
Throughout the day today, think about all that the women in your lives have done for you, and think about how you would like your daughters to be treated in the future!
Mother’s Day is tomorrow, a day that gets a lot of notice in North America. It would be difficult to go through the week leading up to Mother’s Day without seeing and hearing about it.
One might assume that, for a woman, this is a totally awesome day on which attention is lavished upon her. To women who are unable to have children, for one reason or another, the day is the very worst kind of salt to rub in that wound. For some women with children the day may be just as awesome as expected. If her children are under five or ten, however, then the attention will need to come from her spouse…so that lets the air out of the day for single mothers and leads us to our next view-point.
Men are in an interesting position on Mother’s Day. If they are not married to a woman and have no children then they only need to remember their own mothers. If they have wives and children you will often hear them say, “Why should I get a present for my wife, she isn’t my mother!” and then you will see them out at the store the night before or even on the day itself trying to find something after-all.
My kids always used to ask why there was a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day but no Kid’s Day. My answer was always that every other day is for kid’s. When they were little they seemed to enjoy the excitement of trying to surprise me with breakfast in bed, usually far more than I could eat. Not all children live with their mothers. Some have been taken away from mothers by the state, some have lost their mothers to death.
On a good year,Mother’s Day is all that it is made out to be mostly for retailers, craftspeople, florists, restaurateurs, etc. the ones making a profit from the day. Despite this, I think that mothers really do deserve a special thanks. I can’t begin to list all that my mother has done for me in my forty-some years. She is a truly amazing woman and I will wish her a happy Mother’s Day tomorrow.
If you are lucky enough to have your mother still living, give her a little bit of your time tomorrow and tell her you love her. Take a moment as well to pray for those who struggle with the day for one reason or another.
Posted in Reflections
Tagged breakfast in bed, children, fathers, love, men, Mother's Day, mothers, prayer, reflection, time, women
This past Saturday at lunch time I was seated in a living room with some women who have been very important in my life for almost twenty years, the members of my Women’s Institute branch. At forty-six years old I am the youngest by ten years, our oldest member at ninety-three was not able to attend that day. Most members are retired, one lives on a working farm, three of us live in the city. Some are knitters, some are quilters, we have some prize-winning bakers etc. What do we have in common? We are all women, most have or have had husbands and children, most have worked hard either at home or outside our homes. We have experienced life as women and all that entails and we all wanted to help our community and keep on learning.
We were gathered together for a luncheon and the final meeting of our branch. After ninety years our branch has disbanded. We will no longer be meeting together on the first Saturday of each month to plan community service and learn something new. No more lucky cup and napkin prizes, no more pots of tea and sharing our stories.
In case you don’t know what Women’s Institute is, it is an organization which began in Canada when a farm wife Adelaide Hoodless learned about pasteurization after her son had died from drinking unpasteurized milk. Horrified that her son’s death had been preventable she felt she needed to share this information with other women. The motto for the organization is For Home and Country. Do you remember the movie Calendar Girls? The group they belonged to was Women’s Institute.
I will miss the group. When we talked about it at the luncheon we agreed that given the internet available everywhere for education that role of our group is now covered, especially for people living in cities. I believe that the work we do in the community will be missed. Our final work as a group was to give our remaining funds from the sale of our hall to a number of charities in our area. In the end we can be proud of the work that was done by our group over the ninety years.
Posted in Reflections
Tagged baking, change, charity, community, community service, disband, friends, kindness, knitting, lucky cup, lucky napkin, mothers, quilting, reflection, tea, time, wives, women, Women's Institute
What do dating violence, childbirth and cowboy day have in common? These represent my work day today.
March break is next week and that makes this winter carnival week at my high school. A regular part of this week every year is that we have theme days. Today is cowboy day and many of the teachers and students are sporting plaid shirts, jeans, cowboy boots etc. As a result of this I am sitting here during my break in my jeans, plaid shirt, cowboy boots and spurs writing my blog.
As for dating violence and childbirth, these are today’s topics in my two classes. There was a time when these were topics you didn’t hear about, or which your parents were supposed to cover. How did this sort of thing end up being on the school’s plate?
Dating violence is one of the adolescent issues we cover which include eating disorders, STIs, birth control, stress, depression etc. Our ideas of what is acceptable behaviour in a relationship have changed a great deal over the past 50 years and I firmly believe that it is important to teach our kids how to be safe in their relationships. As a former victim of emotional abuse in my past marriage I wish someone had taken the time to teach me the warning signs, because they were all there. The value of the units does not explain how they came to be part of the curriculum though.
Childbirth is the next stage in the child’s development after prenatal, so it is time to cover that. The folks from the VON program Healthy Baby and Me come in to do one class on childbirth and a second class on breastfeeding. While we do have a couple of students who are pregnant, this is not just for them. The sooner you know the process and stages of labor and delivery, the better prepared you will be and most students will some day become parents. Again a good reason but not really an explanation.
I guess that question comes down to, “who used to be responsible for these things?” Most of these issues would have been handled in one way or another by our families. With many generations of families all living in close proximity you may not have been warned about dating violence but you had a whole network of people in the community watching out for you. Girls were warned to stay away from the “wild” boys, those with temper problems etc and in smaller communities it would be rare to be dating someone about whom nothing was known. This doesn’t mean that there were fewer relationship problems, but parents were more aware of where their kids were, whom they were with, and what they were doing. Social expectation for dating were very different at the time as well. Of course some people had sex when in high school, but with poor birth control methods it was much more risky than it is now.
Similarly, when you had your children you used to have your mother, aunts, grandmother to help you out and offer advice. Families are so geographically dispersed now that this is not viable. What we see on TV shows about childbirth tend to focus on the problems that may happen and are unlikely to make people feel confident in their body’s ability to give birth which we do get from the fact that our female relations survived. Similarly, it is pretty hard for a grandmother to help sooth your baby through a Skype connection. For basic information exchange the world has become much smaller through technology, but this is not a benefit for real human relationships and the comfort of touch.
And so we come to my work-day today where I dressed differently, talked about avoiding abuse, and delivering babies!
Posted in Reflections
Tagged adolescents, change, child birth, cowboy boots, dating violence, family, grandmothers, help, mothers, problems, reflection, school, stress, students, teachers