Today is unique compared to other holidays

Published 12:02 am Sunday, May 13, 2018

If mere mortals ever deserved a day set aside in their honor, mothers are certainly amongst the most worthy. But we often fail to give Mother’s Day the distinction it truly deserves.

Most holidays fall into one of three types.

Religion based holidays are easy to spot — Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah, etc.

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Recognition holidays are well known because often the person’s name is tied to the date on the calendar — Columbus Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, etc. Exceptions here include Veterans Day, Memorial Day and the like. They honor not an individual but large groups of deserving individuals.

Economically driven holidays are ones that seem generated just to create commerce — Valentine’s Day, Grandparents Day and the like.

But Mother’s Day actually incorporates key features of all the other types of holidays.

Obviously, Mother’s Day sparks some economic benefit as children, fathers and husbands clamor around trying to buy some token of a gift that can represent a lifetime of thanks. We mostly fail at this since no gift can truly repay the dedication mothers give to their children.

While most mothers would shun the idea that they should be worshipped, the truth is that most little children truly worship mom.

Their tiny brains are wired to understand that mom is the source of all things good — and a few things bad.

Mom is whom we run to when we skin our knee, cut our finger or bump our heads.

Mom has the answers to our myriad of questions, often which lead to a string of follow-up questions all of which ultimately begins with “Why …?”

Mothers should earn far more respect for what they do than say Christopher Columbus, who was a fame and wealth-seeking guy who “found” North America. It hadn’t really been lost, but Europeans were simply ignorant of its existence.

Sure jumping on board a ship and setting sail into the unknown would be scary.

But mothers do far more intimidating things, from the very beginning of their motherhood.

Clearly God knew what he was doing when he made man and woman and gave them different tasks in life. No man I know could give birth with the calm suredness that most women do.

Even the largest, strongest men would be turned into crying blobs of gelatin at the thought of having a 9-pound child emerge from their bodies.

Mothers deserve at least a week of honor and special treatment just for that.

Then, after the birth the fun really begins.

They deal with a lifetimes of worries, complaints and problems, almost none of which is truly appreciated at the time.

Rivers of snot, mountains of poop, buckets of vomit, forests of splinters, cuts and other problems are ahead of them.

And as my own mother told me one day as she was lovingly pestering me about something I thought a mother should not worry about in the life of her adult son: I will worry about you until the day I die.

Point taken. Mothers are responsible for us — for the good in us, the bad in use and the ugly in us. They feel pride, disappointment, sadness and fear — sometimes all at once.

Only years later — on some occasions — do grown children truly begin to appreciate the warnings they heard earlier in their lives.

“I hope when you grow up, you have a child just like you,” goes the ominous warning.

Perhaps only when that happens — when we see ourselves facing the same challenges that we gave to our own mothers — can we even begin to comprehend what they’re going through on a daily basis.

It’s downright impossible for us to fully appreciate and fully show gratitude for our mothers. All we can do is humbly say, “Thank you for all that you do and have done. Happy Mother’s Day.”

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or