One boy said in his card to his mother on her birthday: “I love you and I like you’. So he expressed an appreciation for his mother with some wisdom about the nature of relationships (conscious or not conscious).
I have heard it said by a mother “I love my son but I don’t like him much.” Or an older daughter or son “I love my mother but wish she had done it differently in my own childhood.” True bonding in the parent-child relationship calls out ‘unconditional love’ in us. ‘Like’ on the other hand often reflects the identification of a particular quality which is liked in the other. It is true that in children these likes can be very pragmatic and egocentric. “I like grandma because she gives us ice creams.” “I like Dad because he takes me to the football.” But when the ‘like’ comes from a true appreciation of some fine quality in ourselves, we begin to feel really seen. When we are given something that involves effort and thoughtfulness on the giver’s part we feel much more appreciated.
That is what I would argue that an authentic Mother’s Day celebration needs— a day with ‘love’ and ‘like’ in it, not a response to the emotional blackmail of commercial advertising, like the one I saw once: “How much is your mother worth? $20? $30? $40……..?”
I met a woman on my walk this morning who shared that in her family, Mother’s Day involved the making of a special card for her by her sons. Just the card hand-made with love. A ‘love gift’. Even a bought present can be love-filled when it is thoughtfully planned or bought with specially saved pocket-money, or money earned to buy the gift.
Make the acknowledgement of our mothers authentic by being at once thoughtful and love-filled. That’s the short version of this post. More ideas can be found on “Lovegifts” at http://www.creativelivingwithchildren.com/nurturing-childrens-growth-2/play/love-gifts/
Maybe more thoughts on celebrating mothers later.