Mother’s Day is next Sunday. By next week, however, what I have to say will be too late. So I am taking the role of the early bird. I am a confused man, but I do know that Mother’s Day is next Sunday. At least I think it is. Anyhow, here are my thoughts.
First, moms want their husbands to remember Mother’s Day. A lot of guys think, “Well, she’s not my mother.” Fellows, stop thinking that. Just don’t. Remember, if your wives thought that logically in every instance, they would never have married you!
Second, remember your mother-in-law is also a mother; make a special effort to appreciate her on Mother’s Day. One regret I have is that I did not appreciate my mother-in-law as much as I could have. For some reason, we go harder on our in-laws than we do our own parents.
Third, moms love to be reminded of their family’s warm feelings toward them in simple ways. According to a recent UPI article, “75 percent of U.S. mothers say they would prefer a handmade card over a necklace from Tiffany and Co.,” a survey indicates.
“However, what mothers really want is some sleep. Eight of 10 mothers said they would choose to sleep in versus a sunrise breakfast with the kids.”
The argument also suggests that over half the moms would appreciate a massage or a bike ride as a way to enjoy their day.
Fourth, do not feel obligated to spend a fortune to say “I love you.” I love to tell the joke about the man who was reared by his hard-working widowed Hoosier mother. She took in sewing, cleaning, and raising rabbits to put food on the table. He grew up and made a fortune in Texas oil.
The week before Mother’s Day, he was wandering through a small city in Texas, trying to come up with an idea to please and honor his remarkable mother. He strolled into a pet shop, second-guessing his presence in such a store.
“Can I help you?” politely offered the owner.
“I don’t know. I am trying to come up with an idea for a Mother’s Day gift for my mom. I don’t know why I came in here, really.”
“Well, tell me a little about you mom,” coaxed the shopkeeper.
The man replied, “Let me see. Well, she is a very devout Christian. She reads several chapters of her Bible every day, then she prays, listens to Christian music, and is very active in her church.”
“I may have the perfect gift for her,” replied the owner. “I have a parrot that has been expertly hand trained. The bird can recite the 23rd Psalm, the 14th chapter of John, Romans chapter 8, and The Lord’s Prayer.”
“That’s unbelievable!” exclaimed the oil man. “How much does the parrot cost?”
“Well,” said the shopkeeper, “this pet is very expensive. It costs $24,000.”
The millionaire oil man was speechless, but, after gaining his composure, he thought to himself, “That’s a lot of money, but my mom is worth it!”
“I’ll take it!” broadcast the convinced customer. “Please ship it to her in time for Mother’s Day.”
The Monday after Mother’s Day, the man calls his mom: “Mom, did you get my Mother’s Day gift?”
“Yes I did, sonny.”
“How’d you like it, mom?”
“Just delicious, son, delicious!”
Fifth, remember that Mother’s Day can be a gloomy day for some – be conscious of that possibility. Some people had cruel mothers and prefer to forget them. Some are experiencing Mother’s Day for the first time without their moms. Others are experiencing the pain that comes from having divorced parents. Some women crave to have children and cannot conceive, and the pain of elusive motherhood seems more than they can bear. Some mothers will be experiencing Mother’s Day remembering a deceased child.
Even with the potential for a downside, many of us find Mother’s Day a time to rejoice. In some ways, good mothers illustrated the Christian Gospel, for many moms selflessly expend themselves for the good of their children. That ideal – whether attained or not – is what we celebrate on Mother’s Day.
• Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune.