This Sunday is Mother’s Day. It’s fallen on the second Sunday of May ever since Congress designated it so back in 1914. Since that time, it’s been a day in which mothers everywhere are rightfully feted with a myriad of cards, flowers and breakfasts in bed that come in varying states of edibility. And while this official designation is a relatively modern-day phenomenon, cultures over the centuries have honored those Mother Nature chose to endure hormonal and biological abuse for nine months.
The Romans celebrated an event called Magna Mater that fell between March 15 and March 22. Games were held and the citizenry marched through the streets hoisting elegant displays of arts and crafts. (As to how much of it was pieces of uncooked macaroni pasted to construction paper is still up for debate). Fast forward to the late 1800s, and Julia Ward Howe, (author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”), established a Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870, a cry for peace in the aftermath of the Civil War and the idea of brother fighting against brother. (Definitely something that could be utilized against siblings squabbling during long car trips). In post-World War I France, the government awarded medals on December 19, La Fete de Méres, Moms with four or five children nabbed bronze, those with six or seven landed silver and gold medals were nabbed by mothers with eight or more offspring. (Given the grief children give their mothers, medals should be awarded to moms on a daily basis.)
On a commercial level, the National Retail Foundations estimates that Mother’s Day is a $16 billion industry, florists see their highest sales in May, U.S. restaurants claim it’s the busiest day of the year and Hallmark found that 96 percent of American consumers shop on Mother’s Day. Suffice it to say, this outpouring of recognition for those tasked with oftentimes wiping noses, being emotional cheerleaders and saviors on the eve of when school projects are due is well-deserved and can never truly measure up to these and many other sacrifices they make. Like noses and opinions, every one has a mom and if you’re lucky enough to still have one in your life, be sure to thank her on Sunday.
– Dave Gil de Rubio