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mother's day

I’ve only been celebrating Mother’s Day as a mother myself for a few years now. My daughter is only 3 years old, and my mother gave me a little celebration on my first Mother’s Day as a mommy-to-be. But, in the few years that I have been celebrating it, I have a tendency to do it a little different than most. I celebrate my daughter. Because, after all, if it weren’t for her I wouldn’t be a mother.

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Of course as she’s gotten older she makes me little cards and my husband or my mother always take her out to buy me something small. We also have a tradition of laying Temperance down on a big piece of packing paper and tracing around her. On the bottom we write the date, her age and her height and weight then let her finger paint the page. It’s something that’s cheap and fun to do, but gives me something to put up for safe-keeping every year and is also a great way to keep track of her growth as we rent an apartment and can’t exactly notch it into the wall once a year. Then we’ll all get together, I try to make my daughters favorite foods and I get her a small present. Nothing extravagant or expensive, just something to say “Thank you for letting me be your mommy.” Last year I even took her out for a fun little “date”. We spent some time at the park and grabbed an ice cream.

Of course, we still go spend time with my mother and my grand-mother and we work long and hard on homemade cards for them out of construction paper, cotton balls and lots of Elmer’s glue. I’ve taken the time to try to explain to her that my grandma is her nana’s mommy and nana is my mommy. They all played a very important part in making sure that all of us are here today and all of us have been well taken care of. I’ve explained to her that Mother’s Day is a day for showing all the Mother’s your appreciation for all the wonderful things they do every day. But, I also want her to know that she plays a big part in that as well. She is a reflection of me as a mother. She is the whole reason that I get to celebrate this day to start with!

Of course, I always want to express to my daughter how important she is to me. But, Mother’s Day seemed like a great opportunity to really harp on it. I want her to understand that I wasn’t this wonderful, spectacular mother until she came around to make me that way. That nana wasn’t a mommy until I came around and she wasn’t a nana until she arrived. It gives her an opportunity to feel a little extra special for the day. She’s the one who made all these people what they are today; mamaw, a nana and a mommy.

My hope is that it instills just a little extra appreciation in her as she grows older. Not only appreciation for all the mothers that preceded her, but an appreciation for the children that allow her to celebrate the day. I want her to understand how wonderful being a mother truly is. I want her to understand that Mother’s Day is a rite of passage, so to speak, that’s only bestowed upon on once we’ve brought a child into this world. I want her to know that Mother’s Day isn’t simply a reason to BBQ or even just a day to buy your mom a gift. It’s a day to show gratitude to those that give you the right to celebrate in the first place. Not just your mother and your grandmother, but your children, as well.

Hopefully, one day when she has little ones of her own she will remember how we celebrated Mother’s Day when she was small. I hope that she’ll smile fondly on the memories and remember to show her kiddos a little extra appreciation for the day as she’s celebrating with me and all the other mothers. Maybe I can even carry on the tradition with my grandchildren myself, in appreciation for making me a Nana.

So, as you go out and celebrate your Mother’s Day with whatever traditions your family has maybe take the time to give your kids a little thank you. It doesn’t have to be a gift or anything large, expensive or spectacular. Just a thank you for sticking it out with you even on your bad days, a thank you for being there for you and learning lessons with you as they grow, or just a big ole’ thank you for being your child. Show them how important they are and how thankful you are that they’re and you have such a wonderful reason to celebrate being a mother.

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