Mother’s Day is the day where mothers receive a card adorned with flowers from their children and flowers adorned with a card from their spouses. I know this day is not a very celebratory day for many individuals, but I hope that I can express the gratitude I have for my mother without irking too many people.
They say that when you are born, half of you comes from your father while the other half comes from your mother. That’s not entirely true. It is true for your genome, but there is so much more in the egg you inherit from your mother that people often take for granted (in terms of the common understanding of the biology of conception). A mother’s egg doesn’t just contain DNA, it also contains organelles and nutrients that go on to support the first cell divisions once egg and sperm combine. So technically, a mother contributes more than half of the necessary components for a potential child.
Should that child become a reality, every year on the day of its birth the child will receive a celebration of its life—a birthday celebration.
On a birthday, we typically get showered in congratulations from people wishing us another year of happiness (or a future one). Sometimes, I can’t help but wonder why we even celebrate birthdays. Of course, I’m a bit biased since it’s been a long time since I stopped looking forward to my birthday. (I’m getting to the best Mother’s Day gift so humour me for a moment.)It’s just another day of the yea
r for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful family and group of friends with whom I’ve enjoyed great birthday celebrations. It’s not that I’ve never had the opportunity to celebrate my birthday, it’s more like I couldn’t understand the point of it.
I believe a birthday should be as much a celebration of the mother as the child. I know this is probably something many people don’t have the privilege of doing… Not everyone has a mother in their life to celebrate (or wish to celebrate). I still can’t help but think that if you are reading this, that in itself is something you can still celebrate on Mother’s Day: you’re alive.
The fact that you survived within your mother’s womb for nine months and were born with at the very least your sense of sight and appendages with which to type with, I feel you had a fairly successful nine months of development. The fetus is very, very susceptible to environmental influence within the mother’s womb. When a woman is pregnant, there is so much she must now be cautious of in order to procure a healthy offspring: she must watch what she eats and eat healthier, she must watch what products she uses for fear of exposing the child to toxins, she must watch how she moves/exercises in later stages of the pregnancy, she mustn’t drink alcohol or smoke or experience anything overly stressful and the list goes on.
Once the child is born (and as in cases of mothers unrelated to their child by blood), you are cared for with much diligence and love. No matter what tempers you threw, what mistakes you made, or what terrible attitude you gave, there was someone there who cared for you unconditionally. Someone scolded you, punished you, and taught you what it meant to live within and outside the lines of authority.
So if you are one of the many people who will be perusing shops for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, remember this: for the nine months your mother carried you within her body, nurtured you, protected you, and painfully delivered you into this world, does it really take a specially marked date on your printout calendar to make you feel grateful for your mother? For the life you have? I don’t think it’s enough. I think I will be owing my mother this gift of life for the entire duration of mine.
This Mother’s Day, my mother will receive a very special present from me: my sincere appreciation. It works every year… and I’ll be giving her the same gift each day for the rest of my life.