Things Your Father Wants You To Know #4~ Show It All The Time

You may have noticed that I am not good about days our culture calls “special”. I really believe that many of them were created by Hallmark and the flower companies to get people to spend more money on things they could get cheaper every other day of the year. The restaurants are packed, the card racks are empty, the florists are sold out. These “special” days, like Mother’s day and Valentine’s day; not Grandparents day, etc., are a marketer’s dream.

But I have learned, over time, that because our culture makes a big deal of them, they matter to people. It is, therefore, important to honor those days. Perhaps you don’t need to do it with the fervor of many Americans, which can be a little over the top, but I promise you your girlfriend will care if you don’t recognize Valentine’s day!

You should ask yourself, though, why the restaurants aren’t full of mother’s and sons or daughters all the time? Why aren’t men buying flowers to memorialize other special days, more personal to those they love. I bought your mother flowers on the 3d of every month for the first year of our relationship, because that day meant something to us; much more than Valentine’s day. Why aren’t we sending our mother’s flowers whenever we think of it? Or making the call to a grandmother just to talk? Or bringing our father’s breakfast in bed? These are the things relationships are built on; showing love for no special reason other than the love itself.

When my father was alive I learned to tell him I loved him every time I spoke to him, and to hug him every time I saw him. He never understood my need to hug him and he never hugged back. He never really understood my telling him I loved him, but at least he knew. And when he was dying he waited for me to sit with him, because he knew I loved him. When he was gone I had no regrets because I had showed my love, not held it captive for Father’s day.

It is important to make the effort to honor the “special” days that society has created for us. It is much more important to show people you love them on a regular basis. When you think of someone, pick up the phone, you never know when they will be gone. This is hard when we are all so busy, but a five minute phone call can mean the world to someone. A single rose on a Wednesday night can brighten up a whole week. So remember, love is not something you trot out and show off for special occasions; show it all the time.

Oh You Mother!

Hah! Gotcha. That title could mean almost anything. But tomorrow is Mother’s Day, the ultimate hallmark holiday; invented to generate income for restaurants, florists and card shops. I’ve got news for you, if you don’t honor your mother all year long, if your partner doesn’t honor that you are the mother of the children all year long, this one day just isn’t going to do it. Flowers are nice, chocolate is always good, and we like presents. The truth is, however, that the relationship is what matters, the love is what counts. The joy of being a mother is without question its own reward. Anyone who remembers the first time they laid eyes on their infant child, remembers the first “mama”, remembers a little body in the bed with you, knows what I mean. Anyone who has made the boo boo better, has made the tears dry, has made the english homework make sense, knows what I mean. My son is the funny boy. He is at that age where, like the cruise commercial, the smile is a fleeting thing. But sometimes he can’t repress the smile, the joke. For a long time he has been the laughter in our home, something I will miss when he leaves. Of course his dad says he will never leave! But he will. Mother’s don’t lose their daughters but mostly, they do lose their sons. Figuratively speaking of course. It is the rare daughter in law that wants to be close to her mother in law. Anyway, a little appreciation is enough for me. Our son is a great reward. He was a miracle when we got him and he still is. I don’t need hallmark to know that my family loves me. Happy Mother’s Day.