Growing up, I don’t think ever I grasped the significance of Mother’s Day. Scratch that. I know I didn’t. I understood that it was the day set aside for children to express their thanks and appreciation towards their moms and I did my best to do so by making hand-shaped cards, writing cutesy poems and buying pretty flowers. Nevertheless, in my heart I couldn’t help but wondering why? Surely my mother knew that I loved and appreciated her. I told her so every day. I also thanked her for every little thing she did for and gave to me with hugs, kisses and the occasional note. Consequently, I didn’t see the need to have another day to celebrate something that we celebrated every March 24th – her birthday.
My problem (if that’s what you can even call it) was that I was blessed with a mother who devoted herself to her family. Everything she did was for us. My sense of appreciation was therefore stunted by the status quo that had been established for me at birth. I had no reason to even consider the amount of hours that my mother spent doing such things as cooking, sewing costumes and helping me with school reports because she had always done so. What I focused on were the tangible end results: the delicious meals, the amazing Halloween outfits and the stellar grades that I received on my assignments. I thanked my mom for every one of these things immediately and affectionately but what I didn’t do was to recognize the effort that went into making it all happen.
Now that I am on the other side of the family unit working with Rachel to raise our little girl, I have finally grown to appreciate the time and effort that goes into being a mother. I see all that Rachel does for Siaya; the extra time and care that she puts into such things as picking out and buying new clothes, driving her to and from different classes, and helping her work through homework problems and assignments. Rachel is to Siaya as my mother was to me – devoted – and I have learned that it is essential to remind her just how important she is not only to Siaya, but also to the family.
Just The Way You Are, by Bruno Mars, is the song Siaya sang for Rachel two years ago on Mother’s Day. I changed the words a little to fit the occasion and we worked on it together for a couple of weeks as a Mother’s Day gift. As I sat and listened to Siaya croon our newly written lyrics and watched the tears roll down Rachel’s cheeks, I suddenly became acutely aware of the significance of Mother’s Day. Rachel’s quiet sobs echoed the fact that moms, like the kids they adored, need at least one day where their family’s devotion is directed solely at them. Mother’s Day is that day. Although mommies do what they do for nothing more than the smile they see on their child’s face, it is sometimes nice to feel the tender warmth of reciprocity.
To the two mothers in my life, I say with love, respect and undying gratitude, “Happy Mother’s Day!” Thank you both for being the heartbeat of my family! Neither of you are defined by your role as mother, you simply give definition to the role! I love you both, just the way you are.
Just The Way You Are youtube link