Mother’s Day ain’t what it used to be. (Apologies to Mom for using a word she hated.) The day set aside to obey half of the Biblical commandment “Honor thy father and thy mother” is grounded root and branch in multiculti faith, whose diverse goals do not always have much to do with motherhood.
Witty feminists put its origins in the ancient fecund Earth goddess Cybele, enthroned with a lion and a cornucopia, who was updated as a model of activism, as in “Cybele rights.” Early Christians saw honoring mother as a commemoration of Mothering Sunday, which celebrated Mother Church more than a mother herself.
Aging baby boomers have seen Mother’s Day liberated from the days of “father knows best,” when the “little lady” was treated to a family brunch at a restaurant so she didn’t have to do the dishes. Now, Mom the lawyer, Mom the doctor or Mom the Wall Street broker (married, single or divorced) takes everybody out for a “zen and tonic.” The enlightened mother wants organic gluten-free buckwheat pancakes with a side of fresh kale and bean sprouts.
Mother’s Day has reflected the trends and temperature of the times since President Woodrow Wilson, responding to an act of Congress, proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day in 1914. Three years later, it was a day to honor the mothers of sons who were dying in World War I, the war to end war to which Wilson had said he would never send their sons to fight.
Since then, Mother’s Day has reflected a certain mixture of hypocrisy and sentimentality, widely commercialized in the social and psychological attitudes of the changing times. Anna Marie Jarvis, credited as the mother of Mother’s Day, frowned on the synthetic sentiment in a greeting card, saying it is “a poor excuse for the letter you are…