Be a Pansy

When I was growing up my mother taught Sunday School. Each May she would have her kindergartners cut the tops off their half pint milk cartons, fill them with dirt, and then plant a Pansy inside to take home to their mothers for Mother’s Day. I once asked her if she chose the Pansy for a reason—thinking of thriftiness or weather, but no. My mother said: The Pansy has a face that smiles up at you, like the simply smile of a child.

Today many of my friends will be recognized by their children or spouses, grandchildren or friends for being kind and caring souls, for being mothers. Some of my friends and many in the media will oppose, calling it another Hallmark holiday, saying how it honors one group while sending a message to others that they are not worthy enough to be celebrated. Some say it is inconsiderate or too commercial.

I feel for those that struggle on a holiday like Mother’s Day. I do not dismiss their feelings. I respect them. Today, even though I am not a mom and I no longer have a mom, I am choosing to celebrate moms because I think it’s great to celebrate people when they do good things. I don’t need to be a mom to appreciate that being one takes a lot of work, a lot of patience, a lot of self sacrifice. Am I saying I or other individuals do none of that because we are not moms? No, but I am also choosing not to take offense that there is no Single Women Day with cards bearing flowers and restaurants with special menus.

Instead today, I am going to celebrate mother’s day the way I do every year…thinking well of my mother, remembering something she taught me or shared with me. And, thinking of my dear friends who are mothers who remind me how important and how challenging their jobs are. Thinking too, perhaps we need to be more like a Pansy and just smile up at the world.

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