Mother’s Day

So it was Mother’s Day. Funny, something that had been a given since my birth is foreign to my experience these days. In Israel, Mother’s Day which has been transformed into Family Day, is observed in February. Most people who were brought up in the US completely forget about US Mother’s Day after their first year or two here.

I flash back to memories of my childhood in Philadelphia when my sister and I would walk to Castor Avenue and go from shop to shop looking for something special to give to our mother. How difficult the choice was! Nothing was good enough, pretty enough. What would she like? One year there was a small pink marble bowl on a pedestal that looked like a birdbath. Sitting astride the smooth shiny marble edges were two rough white marble birds. I loved it. We had it wrapped up and brought it to our mother. So intense was our anticipation of her joy at this quintessentially perfect gift that I have no memory of her actual reaction. I do know that it sat on the windowsill in the living room for many years.

Mother’s day was all about pleasing our mother, something that wasn’t such an easy task. I always wondered what it would be like to be the mother.

Well, what I can remember of my days as a mother of young children is some priceless gifts made of wood and tissue and glue and cardboard. I remember a plaster cast of someone’s hand and a fingerpaint print of someone else’s. But more than that, I remember the bright smiles and the exchanging of secret glances. I remember hugs and picnics and lots of laughing.

This morning, my older daughter called and asked if we would like a visit. She brought over her little girl, not yet 2 months old. Abigail looks so much like her mother did on a Mother’s day some years ago when she was one day old and her grandmothers came to visit me in the hospital. Then as now, I felt a sense of wonder and awe at being a mother, at being able to continue the line from the past into the future. Then as now, I am grateful to G-d for the privilege of being a mother.

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  1. You didn’t tell about the time when we were in Oklahoma. Ben and Rachel lived in Israel, Sam and Akiva lived in Dallas, and we planned it carefully, carefully, so that you would have a single card with all five signatures. I remember you in front of the fireplace, crying from emotion.
    It was the first time I saw someone cry when they weren’t sad.

  2. I remember that bowl and the birds. I always thought they were doves. She must have loved it because it was on display and we know how things she didn’t like could disappear. One year I bought her a mother’s day gift that she returned. Anyway, she saved the birthday cards and Mother’s Day cards. I found a drawer full of them when I cleaned out her bureau. She also saved lottery
    tickets. I’m not sure what that meant.

  3. Lil Mager Reidenberg says

    Yours, and
    Vickie’s comments about Mother’s day brought tears to my eyes. Bless you both and think about the pleasant times that you had upon being the Mother you often thought about. Aunt Lily