Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mom's the Word (May 2007 article)

They are the words spoken into the camera day in and day out on national television. They are uttered by the world’s top athletes after they score a touchdown, drain the game-winning three-pointer, or rip the bases-clearing walk-off homer. Perhaps once in our lifetime we will be on camera at a sporting event for a few shorts seconds, and they are the words we choose to say: “Hi, mom.”

Seems kinda silly, doesn’t it? I mean, of all the things we could say in our moment in the spotlight, why would we say these two seemingly insignificant words? Why doesn’t Dad get any love after the big play, or get his name written on the posters and banners we hold up on TV?

The thing is, Mom is special. Oh, Dad is a one-of-a-kind in his own right. But, Dad isn’t Mom. Mom has our back. Mom is our biggest cheerleader – no matter what. Mom would sacrifice virtually anything for us. We’re not only the apple of Mom’s eye – we’re the entire fruit stand! And, chances are, if Mom got on TV, she’d give a shout out to us!

Interestingly, Mothers’ Day hasn’t been around as long as you might think. In the United States, the idea first sprang up in 1872, when Julia Ward Howe (she wrote the words to Battle Hymn of the Republic) suggested Mothers’ Day as a day dedicated to peace. Mom and peace – for many of us those words are synonymous. Generally speaking, Moms tend to have a calming effect in the home, don’t they? When our hearts ache, when we’re down and out, and ready to throw in the towel, who is normally willing – no, eager – to lend an ear and a word of encouragement? Mom is.

Mrs. Howe’s idea apparently had some merit, and the movement to make Mothers’ Day a national holiday gained steam in the early 20th Century. In 1907, Ana Jarvis (from Philadephia, Pa.) persuaded her mother’s church in West Virginia to celebrate Mothers’ Day on the second anniversary of her mother’s death. The following year, the city of Philadelphia followed suit and celebrated Mothers’ Day city-wide. By 1911, virtually every state celebrated the holiday, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson formally announced Mother’s Day as a national holiday that would always fall on the second Sunday in May.

Moms have been around since the Garden of Eden, and we’ve only celebrated them and devoted a day to them for 93 years? Seems crazy. But, while May 13 will be celebrated across the globe as Mothers’ Day, the truth is we likely have the opportunity each and every day to show Mom and tell Mom how much we appreciate her.

Don’t wait until the camera is on you at a ball game to give Mom the “props” she deserves. Shoot her an email. Write her a note. Give her a call. And, while you’re at it, do your best to pour into others’ lives the way Mom has poured into yours. It may seem like a tall order, but chances are, Mom’ll be there to cheer you on.

P.S. – “Hi, mom.”

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