With Mother’s Day fast approaching, it is a good time to stop, reflect and give thanks to all the mothers or significant caregivers in our lives. For who can usually be counted on to value the time spent with us over anything else that we could give? Our mothers.
Introduced in the early twentieth century, Mother’s Day had roots as one woman’s personal initiative. In 1908, three years after the death of her mother, Anna Jarvis organised a memorial service to honour her own mother, a social activist, and other mothers, for their role in raising children as well as their impact on society. Not surprisingly, given how women were still largely treated as second-class citizens, the idea of institutionalising this day in the United States as an annual holiday did not immediately take off. But as we can bear witness today, there were people who never questioned the importance of this symbolic celebration and were committed to making it a reality.
Today, Mother’s Day mainly marks the occasion when we give our mothers presents or do something special to spend time with them. Even though gift-giving is a universal way of signaling affection to our loved ones (and who doesn’t like to give or receive a present?), simply taking the time to share a moment with the people we love can perhaps be the greatest gift of all.
As popular wisdom has it, time is the most precious thing that we have, yet we often forget to keep this in mind. This weekend, however, when we celebrate Mother’s Day, we should not worry too much about minding the passage of time. Our moms will be only too happy if on this occasion we spare them a few extra moments to give them our full, undivided attention.