Me and my mom and baby sister, late 1959.
It's Mother's Day.
Amazon suggests we celebrate by giving Mom "gifts she'll love." First on the list is a sterling silver pendant with a mother and three children (no dad?). Also listed are a World's Greatest mom coffee cup (a tea cup is also available), a dozen roses, and several photo frames. When I restrict Amazon to just books, up comes a surprising number of children's picture books about Mother's Day along with some grownup titles like It's Okay to Take a Nap and Other Reassuring Truths for Mothers Everywhere, Dear Mom Thank You for Everything, and even When You and Your Mother Can't Be Friends.
I watched a video last night. Part of it recalled the now-famous Harry Harlow experiment with Rhesus monkeys. Two monkey "mothers", one made of cloth, but with no food, and one made of chicken wire, with food. The baby monkeys would seek out the wire mothers only long enough to be fed, but then would desperately go to the cloth monkeys for cuddling.
I spent a huge hunk of my life mothering. I stepped away from my beloved job for twenty years to take time with my family. I did Vacation Bible School and Den Mother and PTO mom. I went to nearly 400 basketball games. How many times did I sleep on the ground, in the mud, in the rain, at Scout camps? Award ceremonies. Sleepovers. Field trips. Birthday parties. Choir programs. Not to mention those evenings spent in the emergency room and the delightful vomitting nights.
But those days are past. My sons are grown. I will never forget days spent on the porch swing, singing along to that old song: