Mother's Day is upon us, and soon social media will be filled with accounts and photos of the cutest handmade cards and gifts, messy and creative breakfasts in bed, and perhaps some jewelry ~ some made of gold or silver, others made of macaroni or tiny rubber bands painstakingly crisscrossed together on a loom.
All of it is beautiful, and we all deserve the attention.
But I want to give a little special attention to a certain group of moms.
The moms that had a lot of the moms that will be posting, tweeting, Instagramming, and blogging.
I'm talking about the moms that were doing their mom thing "back in the day."
The moms that, if they needed to phone a friend, had to actually pick up a receiver that was attached to a cord that was attached to a wall, and turn a dial to connect with someone. There were no quick texts. No speed dialing. No Siri. There were no e-mails, either. If they wanted to contact an out-of-town friend without paying exorbitant long distance rates, they had to get a pen, get paper, and write a letter. With their hand. Or maybe, maybe, they used a typewriter. Then, they sent that letter off, and by the time they got a response, they'd forgotten why they wrote in the first place. They relied a lot on a little something called women's intuition.
And if they wanted some advice beyond a friend? Dr. Spock. In paperback. Acquired at a book store, or maybe through the library. No ordering on Amazon with delivery to their door. No e-readers. A real, live book. Or maybe they watched Donahue? Forget Oprah, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, or the ladies on The View. Their choices were slim.
Speaking of television, the only educational programming was on PBS, and if they missed the time slot, THEY MISSED THE SHOW. They could not DVR it, restart it, or watch it On Demand. They didn't pop in a DVD. They just sat while their child cried because they did not know what Big Bird and Grover were up to that day. And cartoons? They were shown on Saturday mornings, and ONLY Saturday mornings. And they didn't offer anything of value, unless the kids kept track of how many times Wile E. Coyote had an anvil dropped on his head. Because that was math.
Speaking of math, let's talk about homework. If these moms' kids had to look something up, it meant the mom was taking them to the library. Not sending them to search on Google. Or (heaven help us) Wikipedia. It was either the library, or there was a full set of encyclopedias present so their kids could do their research in the privacy of their own homes.
Let's give a shout out to the moms who planned our birthdays without Pinterest, and when they wanted to take pictures of those parties, they used a camera with film. Then they took that film to a drugstore where it got developed. And then two weeks later they were able to see their twenty-four precious pictures, and maybe seven of those were actually not blurry in good light, and one would actually have a kid looking at the camera and smiling.
They taught us to ride our bikes without helmets. They drove us here, there, and everywhere without five-point harnesses or seat belt laws in cars without air bags. They washed dishes by hand, hung laundry out to dry, all with babies on their hips and toddlers at their heels.
Whatever it was they were doing, they did it well enough to raise the kids that created the things that we enjoy today. And for that, we should be in awe of them, and thank them and praise them.
And we should do it with more than an e-card.