Happy Mother’s Day!
Yes, it’s Mother’s Day everywhere but in the UK today. I have exchanged messages with my friends in Japan where the streets were apparently full of kids buying carnations for their mothers (awww). And a very good friend in Australia is celebrating her very first Mother’s Day as a mother today – she is still in disbelief that she can really call herself a mother.
I had a nosey around today to see where Mother’s Day came from and it was no surprise to see that the modern version originated in England as Mothering Sunday, which is still their big day. Then it moved around Europe thanks to its Christian roots, eventually making it to the US where two strong women convinced their young nation to adopt it as a holiday in the late 1800s. Celebrations of mothers and mothering can be found as early as Greek and Roman culture but I would suggest that it has even older roots, considering the little carved mother goddess figurines discovered here and there from prehistoric times.
And then think about all the strong mother figures in our mythology. Mother Earth. Mother Goose. Mother Nature. The honouring of mothers have been around a while. It is a nice thing indeed, considering the extreme dedication that most mothers demonstrate around the world. It is not easy to put your life as an individual on hold to take responsibility for the upbringing of a new human. And it deserves respect and celebration.
However today I would like to think of the mother figures out there who do not officially get that moniker “mother.” I have many strong female figures to thank for the person I am today. My grandmothers were both very strong and admirable figures, one of whom I was extremely close to and the other who I did my best to be close to, though distance made it difficult. I miss them both a lot, never more so than when I became a mother myself.
I have more than one aunt who deserve to be honoured as strong female figures today also. I have friends who have acted as mother figures for me when I have needed them. All of these people, today is for you too. I guess “Mother Figure’s Day” doesn’t have the same ring to it, but you are all worthy of a day of recognition in my book. Thank you for your kindness, support, advice, understanding, sympathy, practical help, encouragement and love. No man is an island said John Donne famously – well no woman is an island either. We are all part of a bigger whole and we would be much diminished without the strong women in our lives. So let’s remember them all, regardless of their biological relationship to the next generation.