Over the weekend we celebrated one of the most under appreciated holidays of the year, Mother’s Day. Like most people, I went out of my way yesterday to make sure that I told my mom how much I love her and that I appreciate everything she has done for me. As a proud “momma’s boy,” I think it is great that all of the hardworking mothers out there get recognized for all of the things they do for their children, and I always try to do my best to make my mom’s day extra special. This is the woman who has sacrificed so much to give me the best opportunity to create and enjoy an independent, fulfilling life, and I could never repay everything she has done for me. She took care of me, taught me how to live a happy life in spite of my disability, and is still the person I want nearby when I am sick, injured, or scared. She has done so much for me and my siblings, and like all good mothers, she did this without expecting anything in return besides our happiness. It was in thinking about all of this and preparing for this year’s Mother’s Day that I realized something fairly unsettling about how we view the moms in our lives and decided that I was going to do something to change it.
As I was thinking about what to do for my mom this year to show her how much she means to me, I had a small, and slightly upsetting, revelation. I was online looking at various options for flowers, fruit baskets, and other typical Mother’s Day gifts, when I realized that in celebrating this holiday, and picking this one day as the day to recognize the most important women in our lives, we are doing exactly the opposite of what we should be doing. These ladies give up their lives and sacrifice everything and anything they can to make their children’s lives better, and we say “thank you” by sending them some flowers the second Sunday in May, and then go back about our lives. Should not the women that are responsible for turning us into the happy, successful sons and daughters that we are get at least a long weekend (if not the whole year)? In thinking about this travesty we are committing against these wonderful women, I decided that, while I was still going to call my mother and wish her a happy Mother’s Day, I was not going to send my mom any flowers or other festive gifts this year. Instead of choosing an arbitrary day to give her some commercialized token of gratitude that will end up thrown away or collecting dust in a few weeks, I was going to do something a little different and much more meaningful.
This year, and for every year in the foreseeable future, I am going to try to make sure my mom knows how much she means to me more than just once a year. I am not going to pick an arbitrary day in May that amounts to less than 0.3% of the year to honor the woman that is the most responsible for turning me into the man I have become. I am going to make it a point to at least once a week do something to show my mom that I love her and appreciate everything she does for me (I have even put a weekly reminder on my calendar). This showing of my gratitude does not have to be anything big or extravagant or even tangible. All it has to be is a little way of letting the most important woman in my world know that all of her hard work and sacrifices over the years have not gone unnoticed. A short email saying “thank you” for something she always does without me even asking, calling her to ask about her day, or a quick text telling her that I cooked something that she always made for me because I was missing home, all will mean far more to her over the long run than any cleverly designed fruit bouquet ever could. By taking the time to stop and devote a few minutes to my magnificent mom, not only will she better understand how incredibly important she is to me, but I will better understand it too. In a day and society where so many of the important people in our lives get overlooked all too often, having this constant reminder will ensure that I never forget the most influential woman in my world, and how amazing my mother really is.
To kick off this new campaign of gratitude and appreciation, I would like to end this post with a little note to my mom. And even though Mother’s Day is officially over, I would like to thank all mothers out there for everything they do, and I hope that they realize how much their acts of love and devotion to their children really are.
I hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed your special day. Even though I was unable to be with you in person, I assure you that I was with you in spirit and thought of you often. I know how lucky I am to have such a selfless, strong, and caring woman in my life, and without your help and guidance there is no way that I would be where I am today. You gave me the tools to lead a happy, successful life on my own, and even though it scared you to death, you had the courage to let me leave the nest and chase my dream of living independently. I work hard every day hoping that I can make you proud to call me your son, because I am definitely proud to have you as my mom. You gave me all of the best parts of yourself and so much more, and you will always be the most important woman in my life. I love you.”
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