What does Mother's day mean to me? We all celebrate it. We all know it's not about a day. It's about a life. It's about how a life had sacrificed for another. It's about how love gave all when we were most vulnerable.
Mother's day therefore celebrates the selfless devotion in the person for what she has given up. It's a time where children are called to give thanks and show gratitude. It's a time for the reaffirmation of bonds and the joining of hearts.
But I believe it should not stop there. We should not leave fathers out of it. I know we have Father's day but my point goes further than that. Here's what I mean.
First, it bears repeating that it's not about a day, but a life. And husbands should never forget that they are indebted to two lives on Mother's day. The first life is the mother who had toiled in their beginning years to bring them up. And the second is the wife who is the mother of their children. Husbands are therefore indebted to both of them on Mother's day. Here is why.
I come from a family of 3 other siblings - a family of 6 altogether that is. I am the youngest. We seldom celebrated Mother's day because my parents' relationship was not exactly the best - to put it very mildly.
My father was not exactly the romantic type. He was in fact as affectionate as watching paint dry. And his idea of a marriage was in this caveman-ish statement: "you cook, me work." I think this is a hainanese thing about their men.
So, I always felt that my mother could be happier, whether on Mother's day or any other day for that matter.
It is said that the desire of a man is the woman. Period. We are that shallow. But the desire of a woman is for the desire of the man. And I believe my mother craved for my father's desire of her in the same way that all wives crave for their husbands'.
That is why Mother's day is about two women in our life. That is, the one who gave us life and the one whom we once promised to give our life to (just as Jesus had given his to the Church).
If I can address my writing now to the husbands, I would like to remind them that their enduring love for their life partner is a blessing on many levels in their life. It cuts three generations and blesses them deeply.
Firstly, our marriage is a priceless gift to our children. It surpasses all the material presents we can give to them on Christmas or any other gazette holiday.
Our love for our wife is an enduring legacy for them. It gives them the resource to love their own future life partner back. It empowers them to love selflessly. Their father's love (for his wife) will always be their inspiration, the golden standard to strive for in their own life.
Secondly, our marriage is also a priceless gift for our wife. It represents the vows we intend to keep. It gives them the security and stability to love our children in a safe and empowering environment.
And on a rueful note, I earnestly believe that Mother's day is not just about the gratitude showered on mothers by their children. It is also a private time for a quiet celebration of the husband's love for his wife, the mother of his children.
Finally, every mother knows how much a blessing it is to be loved unconditionally by her husband. This brings me back to my mother who craved for my father's attention. As such, l believe all mothers-in-law wish the same for her daughters-in-law. They wish for a marriage that is strong and resilient undergirded by selfless love. They wish for their sons and daughters to be happy in marriage and life.
To this end, we husbands play an invaluable role here. Our love for our wife makes the difference and sets the stage for a Mother's day celebration that is meaningful, deeply nurturing and joyful.
So, I wish all mothers (including the mother of our kids) a happy Mother's day. And may we husbands never forget how important our role is to make each day leading to that celebration complete, purposeful and whole. Cheerz.