The most important non-Communist holiday in May is Mothers’ Day. This is not just the other side of June’s Fathers’ Day celebration. It is the difference between a society gala and a tailgate party. Fathers are merely to genuflect at the pedestal upon which we place our mothers.
This is the one occasion of the year in which we honor the women who bore us – and the women who bore the women who bore us. Yes, grandmothers count even though they have their own special day, sort of. It is September 13th. But she has to share it with the old man since it is National Grandparents Day.
Nana gets another bite out of the Granny Apple. July 23 is National Gorgeous Grandma Day. (That is a new one on me). Since that celebration is not limited to actual grandmas – just geriatric women in general — it is not quite the same. But I guess National Gorgeous Old Lady Day would not set the right tone.
Covid-19 is hitting Mothers’ Day traditions quite hard. You have to keep in mind that many moms — and virtually all grandmamas — are in that so-called high-risk zone, with a large percentage of them likely to have one or more of those underlying conditions.
The first disappointment is that the tradition of taking all those mothers out for dinner is not an option this year. The restaurants are closed. Celebrating will have to take place in the home – or maybe a picnic in the park, weather permitting.
If we follow the strictest social distancing restrictions, you should not even be in the same room with older mothers and grandmothers. If you should drop in on mom, you should get no closer than six feet – with both you and her wearing masks. Hugging, kissing, or handholding are strictly verboten. Missed will be the joy of having toddler children and grandchildren sitting on her lap – a special pleasure for both.
Yes, we missed a traditional Easter celebration thanks to Covid-19, but that only involves Christians and the resurrection of a Savior. And Jesus of Nazareth was a man – hardly competition for a mother.
So, what will Mothers’ Day look like?
For young mothers, it may not look much different. They will have their kids around them. There will be gifts from dad and the kids to open. Maybe a special meal if dad can cook or a restaurant carry-out if he can’t.
But young mothers celebrating with their mothers … or grandmothers … will not be the same. If the older mother is in a senior facility, there may be no personal contact at all. In that case, we will see a lot of those images of grey-haired older ladies smiling from the window as masked family members stand six feet apart and hold signs with messages of love – sort of like an oversized Hallmark card. We will see contacts in which grandmas appear on a small computer screen like a YouTube re-run of “The Golden Girls.”
What you will not see, are pictures of large family gatherings around the dining room table with lots of hugs and kisses for the mom and grandma. Oh, that will happen – and probably a lot. It is just that you will not see it. Happy gatherings are not what the media shows in these times of shutdown rules – unless the coverage is designed to be critical of beachgoers on a hot day.
Regardless, there will be a lot more of us violating the restrictions of social distancing and mask-wearing than you would believe if you believed the television news. Why do I believe that? Because I see a lot of it all around me when it is not Mothers’ Day. I recently when to a car dealer to check out a new vehicle. Very few workers or buyers were social distancing or wearing masks. And this is in Broward County – a Florida hotspot.
But regardless of how we individually celebrate Mothers’ Day, it is true that those ladies have a special place in the heart of most Americans. And most of them deserved that pedestal upon which we place them.
So, there ‘tis.