Happy Mother’s Day To My Mom and To All of YouSunday, May 11th, 2014
One of my favorite songs, by John Mayer, has a line that says, “Girls become lovers who turn into mothers, so, mothers, be good to your daughters, too.” This resonates with me because all the work I do concerns the parents that you will become, or already are. When I was pregnant, a close friend who has three children said to me, “Don’t wish away your pregnancy or those first sleep-deprived months. One day, you’ll wish for them back.” This is so true. I love each stage of Alexander’s growth, but some days, I wish he still had tiny feet! Although the parent-child relationship is always complicated, it is also the most fundamental human bond. I just want to share with you a story of my own mom.
I tell this story each year because it is important to me. Long ago, Mom and I developed a tradition; I no longer remember who started it. The winters in the Midwest can be brutal (which certainly it was this year!), but in spring, the world comes back to life. May apples, trilliums, crocuses, and violets are the first flowers to appear. On Mother’s Day, Mom and I would hike through the woods behind our house and search for violets. We would select the blue ones, the light lavender, and the deep purple. It was an adventure we shared, just the two of us, without my sisters. We would put some of the flowers in a vase in front of Mom’s statue of the Virgin Mary, and the others she would keep on her dresser. The tradition remains a part of our lives. As an adult, I have sent her live violet plants, dried ones, pictures of violets, and violet-covered cards. When we are together in the spring, we go out together to look for violets. This Mother’s Day, Alexander and I picked all kinds of flowers for her from our own garden, pressed them into the envelope with our cards and sent them off to Michigan. Traditions such as these are a symbol of the thread between us, mother and daughter. Invisible and yet so very, very strong.
” Mom, Alexander and I went on a hike today to look for violets for you. We found violas and larkspur and pretty blue and purple and violet and orange and yellow flowers… but no violets. And then as we were coming out of woods on the trail, Alexander wanted to sit down and take a break. I sat down next to him. Right there in front of us, was this simple lone violet plant. Nowhere else, anywhere around was there another. It was as though God put it right there for us to find. For you. Of course.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom (and Grandmom).” And to all of you too!