Celebrating motherhood

 

Sir, – With Mother’s Day (March 31st) almost upon us, I might protest that “I don’t want a fuss”. Privately, though, I’ll be just a little disappointed if the day is not marked in my family. The thing is, I value Mother’s Day and subscribe to its celebration.

Almost all of us are fortunate enough to have mothers, or at least someone who fulfils that role, during our formative years and beyond.

Mothers are the ones who nurture and guide us through the tender days. They are the ones who relentlessly dole out unconditional love. How do we know a mother’s love is unconditional? Try throwing toddler tantrums, teenage strops, young adult “know it all” attitudes, and tears at life’s disappointments into the mix in relationships we forge along life’s path. The chances are those relationships might falter in a way which the mother-child bond rarely, if ever, does.

We might, sometimes, see our mother as the interminable nag who, wanted or not, offers advice: Advice which, although we are loathe to admit it, is the right advice. Often, it is that same sage advice that we slink towards when youthful naivety or misguided doggedness gives way to sense. Yes, mother was right after all! Rarely, is she the one who reproaches us when we fail but, rather, spurs us on to pick ourselves up, to try again, to do better.

Many of us observe our mother’s joy, unconfined, whenever we succeed. The most pedestrian of our achievements often, unashamedly, embellished in her proud recounting of them to all and sundry. The recipient of such news could be forgiven for thinking they were in the presence of the mother of a genius!

Over 20 years have passed since my personal celebration of Mother’s Day with my late mother. I know what she valued most on Mother’s Day was not the expense of the fancy restaurant meal, nor the overpriced flower bouquet. Instead, she savoured quality time spent with her on Mother’s Day. To my sons I say, here’s hoping.

Happy Mother’s Day. – Yours, etc,

ANNE O’NEILL,

Terenure,

Dublin 6W.