Let’s hear it for mom

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By John Pawlak

My mother always said that some things are just right and some things are just wrong. As a mathematician, I found it odd that society would preclude fuzzy logic. 

After all, if two wrongs make a right, why not just take all the wrongs, divide by two and make it right?  Would that be wrong? 

Well, as usual, Mom was right about some things being wrong. It’s wrong to devote a single day of the year to our mothers. 

It’s wrong to think that a handful of flowers and a box of candy is adequate recognition for all the little things they’ve done for us, like feeding us when we were babies, watching us as we played outside to make sure we were safe, washing our clothes, taking us to the doctor when we got sick ... you know, the little things ... like giving us life? 

In the early 1900s, schoolteacher Anna Jarvis lobbied to have a day set aside to honor our mothers. President Wilson made it official in 1914, establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. 

The commercialization of Mother's Day infuriated Jarvis and she sued to prevent Mother’s Day events.  She was eventually arrested for disturbing the peace.

Even before Jarvis’ campaign, Julia Ward Howe had lobbied (shortly after the Civil War) for establishing a Mother’s Day. (Incidentally, Julia Ward Howe wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic.)  

About 400 years ago, soon after England began celebrating Mothering Day to bestow respect towards “Mother Church,” the holiday was expanded to include mothers.

The history of formally honoring mothers goes back through European traditions, the Roman Empire, ancient Greece, and with the early Egyptians.

But Anna was right.  Flowers just don’t cut it.  That doesn't mean you shouldn't send Mom her favorite arrangement.

If a summer bouquet brings a smile, it’s well worth the purchase, however commercialized it may be.  But let’s not limit our praise of these women to a single day.

Calendars mark the days with numbers.  Moms mark our days with love.

If you have broadband internet, you definitely should look up “The Mom Song.”  It’s a wonderful testament to what being a mother is all about.

In closing, here is a Mother’s Day tribute that I found on the Internet.  No one knows who put this together, but I get the feeling that the guy must have known my own mother.  Either that, or Mom had a clone!

Twenty five things my mother taught me:  (author unknown)

• Setting priorities: If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.

• Religion: You better pray that will come out of the carpet.

• Time travel: If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!

• Logic: Because I said so, that’s why.

• More logic: If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.

• Foresight: Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.

• Irony: Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.

• Science of osmosis: Shut your mouth and eat your supper.

• Contortionism: Look at that dirt on the back of your neck!

• Stamina: You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.

• Weather: This room of yours looks like a tornado went through it.

• Hypocrisy: If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!

• The circle of life: I brought you into this world and I can take you out.

• Behavior modification: Stop acting like your father!

• Envy: There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.

• Anticipation: Just wait until we get home.

• Receiving: You are going to get it when you get home!

• Medical science: If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.

• ESP: Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you’re cold?

• Humor: When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.

• Becoming an adult: If you don’t eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up.

• Genetics: I swear you’re just like you father.

• Heritage: Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?

• Wisdom: When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

And my favorite: My mother taught me about justice - One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!