The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Lessons Learned: Mother's Day

mom

“…Hey Mama, I wanna sing so loud for you, cuz I’m so proud of you...”

For a lot of New Englanders like myself, we know spring isn’t something to take for granted. The winter thaws around mid-April, where we’ll still have an occasional snow flurry every now and then to remind us to not get too comfortable. And then it starts getting muggy and humid by early June. We have about a month and a half of decent weather between the two extremes. And in the middle of this six-week period is a holiday that always seems to creep up on me and probably a lot of others too: Mother’s Day.

This isn’t to say I don’t think about it or care, it always just kind of rolls around the corner and all of the sudden I feel like I am scrambling to find a decent gift to give to my mom, feeling like she's not the easiest person to shop for. But with all the time in the world at home nowadays, I’ve been thinking a bit more fondly about the holiday.

This time of year, I always think of the countless spring weekends—Mother’s Day included—that my mom spent at the Little League Field cheering me on; time she could have and should have spent honoring herself, but selflessly sacrificed for the sake of her children. Since I’ve been home, I’ve thought about all of the little things she does for me on a daily basis that I might take a bit for granted, like helping me with laundry and what not. I am blessed to have a mom who cares much about me and selflessly sacrifices everything for the sake of her kids and family.

I distinctly remember a few years ago my family and I were on summer vacation when we stumbled upon a car with two large dogs in it. Without even a window cracked, and knowing the health and lives of the dogs inside the car were in jeopardy, my mom led the charge of trying to get them out, including searching for the owners and eventually calling the police. Fortunately, the owners of the vehicle returned 30 minutes later before the police got involved, but they didn’t get away that day without listening to a lecture from my mom on pet safety.  Whether it's out of the kindness of her own heart or simply because she cares about animals, my mom took the time out of her vacation to stick up for what’s right. And while she does it day-in and day-out, this moment really stood out to me on why I consider my mom a hero.

During this pandemic, we all have it hard, but maybe no one has it harder than the moms out there. Many of whom have had to add extra stress to their work/life balance, acting as a homeschool teacher and juggling caretaking/child entertainment activities with their own work. I give extra kudos to those moms who are healthcare workers--battling on the frontlines of hospitals while maintaining and managing family life at home. Moms are kind of the real heroes—without their love and care, I’m not sure how long we’d be able to survive this pandemic situation.

I’m sure not everyone needs to be told this, but since it often goes under the radar, it’s especially important for me to take some time to recognize how far we go with the support of our moms. I know this Mother’s Day might be different from normal, and you could be struggling to find a gift like I always do. I don’t think I can really pay my mom back for everything that she’s done for me. But if you still want to honor your mom this Mother’s Day, I encourage you to just go ahead and give your mom a big hug (and maybe some flowers too), I’m sure she would appreciate it.

Mom and me
Me and my mom, circa 2004