I was told, by my older brother, that a few weeks before I was born, he was 7, he said to my mother, “wouldn’t it be funny if the baby was born on Christmas.” In reply, my mother told her son to bite his tongue. A few weeks later, my parents were tucking the boys into bed after a full day of presents and food and traveling and kissed them good night. A few minutes later, Dad was waking them up, putting their robes on and shoes to take them to our cousins’ house down the road because “mommy was having the baby.” God heard my brother and my mother and made a decision. I was born December 25th.
My mother was a very smart, beautiful, and the only child of my grandparents, and they are a story for another day. But this week is the week before Mother’s Day so this is my focus for this week.
As I was saying, my mother was an only child born to a couple who had tried for 2 years to have children and could only have one. Her father was always working as a physical education teacher, a referee, and a physical trainer for the Newark Police. Her mother was a teacher until she had my mother. Then while my mother was growing they poured all their energy into my mother. She could do no wrong. She grew watching her parents have a couple of drinks before and with dinner. She knew they smoked too. Fast forward to College in the 1950’s. She was accepted to Bloomsberg University in Pennsylvania. She lasted less than a year before she missed her mother too much or her mother missed her too much. She relocated to a college in NJ called UPSALA, Majored in Electrical engineering and graduated with an A average. She smoked and drank and was very close to her mother. Her mother was her best friend. She had a job at Bell Labs in Murry Hill, NJ as an electrical engineer until she met and married my dad.
My grandmother and mother were also involved in the local Presbyterian church a few blocks away. My grandmother had a bible on a stool in the bathroom and a guide post magazine. She did her devotion every day.
So, my grandmother was a loving mother. My mother was a loving mother too. We learn our “mothering techniques” from our mothers or other role models. Which would explain how my brothers and I and their children have a gift with children. Mom learned from her family, my brothers and I learned from my mother and grandmother. My nephews and nieces learned from all of us.
Being a mother or a father can either be just an egg and sperm donation or it can be much more. If you can say who has taken your temperature when you were sick, who held you during a thunder storm, who read to you bible stories, who held you when you cut your foot, who always forgave you when you seemed to have messed up…etc…. those are the mothers who deserve your energy. Mother’s day is not just that day in May. It’s the day that their children are born. So the first Mother’s Day celebrated was that that night over 2000 years ago in a tiny town called Bethlehem.