This coming Sunday is Mothering Sunday in the UK. It began as a religious day to honour the Virgin Mary, placed exactly three weeks before Easter on the fourth Sunday in Lent.
More recently it has become known as Mother’s Day and honours all mothers. Cards and gifts are given from offspring to their Mum to thank them for all they do and everything they mean to the gift giver.
As with a lot of such traditional days, the meaning has become obscured and cynics might say the opportunity to make money has been jumped upon by large card printing companies, flower sellers and makers of general tat that’s emblazoned with sickly and insincere doggerel.
Of course, you may instantly assume I’m another mean spirited killjoy.
Actually though, I like Mother’s Day. In the humdrum of day to day life it’s great to slow down for even a day and be grateful for our Mothers. To say thank you and show we care.
In past years the gifts I’ve given my own Mum have reflected how busy I am and what I’m busy with. Some years I’ve been home with young children so we’ve made cards for Nanna together.
Some years I’ve been working as many hours as available to make ends meet and have bought a plant for the garden or other small item she’d love. While working from home as an Artist I’ve painted Owls and Poppies. She loves owls.
Because I love to make things, I’ve knitted, crocheted, wood turned and otherwise crafted any number of different things.
The one thing I haven’t done, and for the life of me I can’t fathom out why, is share my photographs. She’s seen a few of course, but apart from cooing over pictures on my phone of her Great Grandchildren, I didn’t think she was that interested. I suppose, as photography is such a passion for me and I talk about it a lot, an awful lot, I worry I’m boring people with it.
A couple of weeks ago she surprised me. She mentioned how sad it was that we didn’t make prints anymore, that she only saw pictures when I visited. Don’t get me wrong, she has a collection of little portraits displayed on shelves, of most family members, but these are few, taken at special events such as weddings, degree ceremonies and Christmas. There are some big gaps in the time line and with the speed children grow up, a lot of changes.
I forget the opportunity I have to create memories isn’t available in the same way to my Mum. She doesn’t have a smart phone and no longer has a camera. The opportunities I take for granted simply don’t exist for her. Shame on me that it has taken so long for the realisation to dawn! It’s not lack of interest, it’s lack of opportunity.
The rest of today, I’ll be making inroads into amending that oversight by collecting together some photographs I hope she’ll enjoy. Family first but also birds and flowers and other things she enjoys. I’ll print them and pop them in an album. This year’s Mother’s Day gift. Maybe it’s about time she saw some of the fruits of my passion and the gift she gave me.