Remember when your mother stayed up with you because you saw a scary movie? Remember when she taught you to ride a bicycle or picked you up from school because you were sick? Remember when she helped you pick out your prom dress or made sure you got the right corsage? We all have precious memories with the mothers in our lives, and May 12 offers us an opportunity to celebrate those strong women who made us what we are today. Mother’s Day is not just another greeting card holiday. It’s not just another day to buy flowers or make breakfast in bed (not that those things aren’t appreciated). It’s a day when we reflect on what a true blessing mothers are, all that they mean to us…all that they do for us, the ways in which they shape not only our own lives but our communities as well.
When we’re young, the old cliché that every day is Mother’s Day can actually hold true. Growing up, my sister and I spent time with our mom each and every day. She was our chauffeur, teacher, negotiator, spokeswoman, guide, guardian, entertainer …there seems to be no end to the list of jobs she had on our behalf. But, as we became adults we learned to fill those roles ourselves (often using mom as our inspiration). I got my driver’s license. In later years I bought my own car. I learned to stand up for myself in tough situations. I learned how to think about, research and discuss an array of topics and ideas. I discovered new interests and pursued them on my own. Little by little, mom’s jobs became my own responsibilities.
Motherhood is a profound and unique kind of being needed. It is universally associated with selfless care giving. But as the years go by, if a mother does her job well she finds that she is no longer needed the way she once was. The very things that make her proud of her children give those children the ability and confidence to leave the nest. I imagine this transition can leave a mother feeling unneeded, even years after her children are adults. Now, I can’t speak for everyone, but I think that this is where moms are wrong (and telling your mom she’s wrong on Mother’s Day is a risky maneuver). We never stop needing mom. She’s on your speed dial and she’s a favorite in your contacts list (don’t lie, you know she is). Sure, we can patch up our own scraped knees, but we turn to mom when it really hits the fan. She may not chauffeur you around anymore (in fact, you may be her driver now), but she is still one of your most trusted guides. Times change, people grow, but mom is always there for you. And, chances are, you’re there for mom, too.
So, back to Mother’s Day...the day when you’ve got to convey all these things in a special way. As a kid, a handmade macaroni necklace or drawing of the family was the perfect Mother’s Day gift. It says, "I love you, and this is all I can really give you since I'm 5." But what about when you're 25? 35? 45? It's harder to find the perfect way to tell your mom what she means to you, but no less important.
The lodge recently held a Girls Getaway Weekend and I was lucky enough to attend. I went with some friends, but during much of the time I found myself looking to nearby mothers and daughters and thinking how much my own mother would enjoy the weekend. Despite both of her daughters being grown and out of the house, she still seems to be taking care of everyone else. She rarely gets the opportunity to let someone else do the cooking, cleaning and planning. She rarely gets the chance to share an adventure with her daughters or enjoy a fine glass of wine next to a roaring fire. And, with my sister and me both living some distance away, she rarely gets the chance to just sit back and laugh with her girls. What my mother, and I’d guess other’s mothers, want most for their day is to spend some quality time with the children they love (even if those children happen to be grown up).
If you are looking for the perfect gift for your mom this spring, you may want to consider a trip to Harpole’s Heartland Lodge. Whether she’s an adventurer who will love exploring trails on ATV or horseback, or she’s just looking to sit back and relax in a beautiful atmosphere, I’m certain she will appreciate the opportunity to spend time with you in such a wonderful, natural setting.