Writing about Mother’s Day is a little like writing about “America” or “money” or “religion” or “the environment.” So much has been written about some topics, every angle covered and covered again, there’s little left to add. What more can anyone say about Mother’s Day that hasn’t been said?
Well, Time Magazine tried it this week with their eye-popping cover and title, “Are you mom enough?” To which all of you moms should answer, “Yes, I’m mom enough. Are you magazine enough?” But even with all the hubbub surrounding Time’s cover story, and the magazine’s provocative attempt to create a different spin on moms, there is still little “new” under the Mother’s Day sun.
So, rather than try to outdo Time Magazine with another Mother’s Day shock and awe piece, and rather than repeat, perhaps using slightly different words, all the tributes and testimonials to moms that have been written every year, I thought I’d propose a fundamental change to the Mother’s Day ritual. Drum roll please…
From this Mother’s Day forward, I propose that the first Thursday of every month be declared Monthly Mother’s Day. January Mother’s Day, February Mother’s Day, March Mother’s Day….You get the idea. And the third Wednesday of every month shall henceforth be declared Monthly Father’s Day. Every household with a mom in it does something special for her every first Thursday of the month, and every household with a dad in it does something special for him the third Wednesday of every month.
Why am I not making Monthly Mother’s Day and Monthly Father’s Day on Sundays? Because weekends are for big traditions. Monthly Mother’s Day and Monthly Father’s Day are small observances that don’t require a whole day. They fit into school nights, early bedtimes, and daily routines. These are family traditions that take little time and no money, but a fair amount of thought. And thinking about ways to honor mom and dad is good for the soul, and good for the family.
Monthly Mother’s Day and Monthly Father’s Day don’t necessarily involve going out to eat, gifts, flowers, or candy. They only require doing something special that isn’t done the other days of the month. And it doesn’t have to be the same something special each month. One month it might mean giving mom the night “off” after dinner so she can read or take a bath or watch her favorite show. The next month everyone cooks mom’s favorite dinner for her. Another month might be a hand-made card or hand-painted picture frame. Ditto for Dads on their special Wednesday each month.
Monthly Mother’s Day and Monthly Father’s Day give us 12 times the number of opportunities to celebrate parenthood with our kids. Twelve times the number of traditions, memories, and moments with our families. While we’re at it, let’s do a monthly Kids’ Day, too? The 2nd Tuesday of every month, for example. Prepare your kids’ favorite meal, have Scrabble night, a Wii table tennis tournament, or a special dessert.
Best of all, you still get to celebrate the “real” Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, each once a year with the rest of the world. On a Sunday in May and a Sunday in June. But unlike the rest of the world, the first Thursday in June will be another celebration just for the mom in your house, and the third Wednesday in July will be another celebration just for your dad.
Life’s short. The years go by fast. You can never have too many reasons to celebrate each other.
Happy Mother’s Day everyone. Today’s the “real” one, but the next one is coming up soon, so start thinking.