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Column

Reflections on Mother’s Day

I suppose I don’t have to remind any of you mothers out there that this is our big month. It’s time for Mother’s Day — those 24 hours when you and I will be recognized for all the blood, sweat, tears and lunchbox packing we’ve done over the years. Not to mention all those other responsibilities like applying bandages, reuniting mismatched socks in the laundry, and sitting on those hard benches down at the soccer field for hours no matter what the weather.

Did you know that if it weren’t for a woman named Anna Jarvis, we probably wouldn’t even have our day. In the early 1900s, though not a mother herself, she lobbied for a day to honor her mother and mothers everywhere. President Wilson evidently agreed with her, and in 1914 the second Sunday in May became Mother’s Day. I can’t help but think that Miss Jarvis and President Wilson must have had very nice mothers.

Although the date has remained the same, a lot about motherhood has not. For instance, we used to be referred to as mothers, but now we are moms. When I was growing up, I wouldn’t dream of referring to my own mother as my mom. That was too chummy and casual a title for the woman who taught me lessons like, when clearing the dinner table, I should ask, “Have you finished?” I was never to say, “Are you done?”

Also, today’s mothers don’t dress the way they used to. Gone are those Norman Rockwell women seen exiting the kitchen in their house dresses and ruffled aprons. That attire has long since been turned into cleaning rags. Modern moms know the value of comfort — they wear jeans and tee shirts. I suppose my mother would faint if she knew they actually went out to the store looking like that.

And how about mobility? Modern moms earn frequent driver miles every day, either transporting kids to school, sports, and music lessons, or getting themselves to and from their own jobs. Another change is that some children get to have two moms, while still others have dads playing that role. Though the faces of moms may have changed, the importance of caring and nurturing is still alive and well.

Despite these changes in motherhood, there is one thing remains the same. Even after our mothers are gone from this Earth, they are still with us. They seem to be eternal. We hear them in our voices, feel them in our step, and sometimes we might even find them looking back at us from a shop window.

Joann Snow Duncanson, former Peterborough resident now living in Greenland, is the author of “Who Gets the Yellow Bananas?,” co-author of “Breakfast in the Bathtub” and author of her latest book, “Eight Crayons - Poems and Stories by an Almost Sane Woman.” She can be reached via her website www.jsnowduncanson. com or email ourbooks@ worldpath.net.

Mothers Reflected

By J. Duncanson

I had a sudden vision of my mother the other day —

I was rushing past a row of stores when she came and went away.

It was bittersweet to see her in the window of that shop

though the reflection was so fleeting that I almost didn’t stop.

I nearly said,”How are you?” and “How wonderful you’re here!”

but before I had a chance to speak, she began to
disappear.

Then the window glass got cloudy, yet I’d just time to define

that I had become my mother , and that face I’d seen was mine .

So I walked away the wiser, and I couldn’t help but smile

for I thought I’d lost my mother, but she’d been here all the while.

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