Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers Day

This will be somewhat eclectic. More and more efforts are being made to remind the American public that Mothers Day was originally founded by Julia Ward Howe in an effort to prevent more wars. Howe looked around at the devastation of the Civil War and thought, "I didn't teach my sons this. I taught them love, peace, and kindness. Maybe if more mothers spoke up, we wouldn't have as many wars." In the spirit of her original intent, many places around the U.S. are holding peace rallies today. I plan to participate in two--one where we are going to write the names of the fallen soldiers and civilians in Iraq (and maybe Afghanistan, I can't remember), and the other one a simple protest where we'll all congregate by the bridge here in town and let folks know that we support alternative ways of dealing with other countries.

On to the next point I wanted to talk about. Mothers Day has been hideously hijacked by Hallmark and the like. So for the last two years, I've been trying to approach Mothers Day from a non-consumerist ideal (although I admit I'm still consuming far more than I need to, so don't think I've made as much progress as I plan to). Last year, when my girl friends were getting bread machines and ice cream makers (neither of which is bad, I suppose), I told Alistiar that I wanted a day to myself. He took the boys and I rode my bike to a local park and read a book. I took a nap, I wrote in my journal, and all the time I was uninterrupted by my boys unless I went to them first. This year, as I mentioned, I'm going to the peace rallies and maybe my local UU service. I will probably ride my bike again. However, this year I'm also insisting that my boys (all three of them) join me (except maybe for the UU service). I want my boys to know how important peace is to me, and I want to set that example for them.

Lastly, a tribute to my own Mother. Right now, I admit that I have a lot of anger issues with my mom. I'm unashamedly blaming her for some of the things that are happening in my life while still recognizing that I am an adult now and will have to deal with these things from my own initiative (but that's another, whinier post). Let me just say that while I feel that my mother did some major things wrong (although nothing in the way of abuse, just not really preparing us for the real world), I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my mom loves me. I know that she did her best and meant only the best for me and my sister. I know that my mom has her own demons to face and that raising children in the face of demons is daunting. I hope I do well by my children in the face of mine. I suppose the one thing I'm grateful to my mom for trying to teach me (even though I eventually had to learn it the hard way) is compassion for others. My mom realized how difficult it is to make judgments about a person's choices in life when we don't know their inner workings. She reminded me of this several times in high school when I would make blanket judgments of the kids around me. I now realize how right she was and try very hard to keep my assumptions about people to a minimum. I'm even trying really hard to do this concerning her (although it's hard considering the anger I'm harboring right now). Anyway, even though I don't plan on my mother ever reading this, I love you Mom. Thanks for everything. I hope I can succeed in raising good kids as well as you did.

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