Three years ago on Mother’s Day, my third daughter was born. And now it will always be a special day to me. Because that was a day when I got to be close to my new arrival, when I was awash with love for my family. What an amazing present.
Unfortunately I think Mother’s Day has become rather conventional. Once upon a time it had significance; when people didn’t have easy contact with their families and couldn’t see them for long periods. However it has since turned into a marketer’s dream.
Now it is simply an arbitrary day. And on Mother’s Day, I don’t want things. The acquisition of things is farthest from my mind as being a way to show love. I am not saying that I don’t like to be spoiled, who doesn’t?
But I don’t want it to be because it is a certain day that is prophesised by the commercial gods. I want it to be because I have taught my girls how to express their love whenever it feels appropriate to them. I want to celebrate my family, that which makes me a mother.
Love is not a bunch of flowers, love is not a box of chocolates, love is not a haul of smelly stuff, and love is certainly not a bottle of gin. Love is not anything done by a child under direction from an adult.
To me, love is someone crawling into your bed just because you are the safest person they know. Love is being accosted from behind by a small pair of arms around your hips, even if it’s when you are trying to serve dinner. Love is simply your child wanting to spend time with you.
And now, here is the important thing. To help my daughters learn how to show love to me (or any other living being), this involves me. I must show them love. I must pay them attention. I must make myself available and vulnerable to them.
Love is showing my daughters kindness and compassion. Love is being a part of their lives. Love is being their teacher, even when my appetite for doing so is diminished. And love is forgiveness.
I am not always good at those things. But that is what parenting is about. Sometimes we are good, sometimes we are not. Today, I hope will be a good day. I have chosen that we do something they will enjoy, for them, which will in the end give me enjoyment too.
I know they are going to do things for me and give things to me, as they have been told by society that they must. And I will appreciate these. But the best present that I will have will be the smiles, the cuddles, the kisses, the sheer passion for living that they have, now and forever more.
For my mother; I give you my love, now and always.