God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers.
– Yiddush proverb
Mother’s Day is a perfect opportunity to record memoiries. Following are a few suggestions of how to find them.
Have a conversation with your mom, or simply take some time to remember your experiences with her. Keep in mind the intent of capturing memoiries. What do you remember about growing up with your mother? You may be surprised that she remembers things differently than you do. Asking just a few questions might lead you to other surprising information. What do you know about her life before she was your mother?
If you are a mother, this is also a great time to write down your thoughts on being a mom. What do you want your children to know about you? How has your perspective changed since becoming a parent?
Scan the racks of Mother’s Day cards and you’ll find cards not only for mothers, but for grandmothers and great grandmothers, mothers-in-law, stepmothers, wives and daughters. You’ll even see cards for someone who is “like a mother to me.” While this may be a ploy of the greeting card companies to sell more cards, stretching the definition of mother also increases the possibilities for capturing your memoiries. Think about all the women who are or have been significant in your life. What impact have they had on you? What lessons have you learned from them? What experiences created a bond between you?
Motherly advice is a great source of memoiries. Here’s a memoiry an associate shared with me on something she learned from her mother and has passed on to her children:
…As a kid, when I worried about something I had to do, or a decision I had to make, my mom would say, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” My fears and anxieties were quite real to me and I was certain that the situation at hand had the potential to derail my entire life. However, while I suspect my mom’s question may have been somewhat rhetorical, it did make me think. And it wouldn’t take much for me to conclude that the worst thing that could happen was not only unlikely to happen, it wasn’t actually that bad. In fact, sometimes the answer was simply, “Nothing.” Nothing bad would happen if I did or didn’t do whatever I was agonizing over. Removing fear from the equation made it much easier to move forward.
This lesson comes back to me every time I see one of my kids worrying. “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” I ask. Typically, this leads to a recitation of ridiculous possibilities that get us all laughing. Once again, when the fear is removed, it is much easier for them to move forward…
So, Happy Mother’s Day. Remember to celebrate all the moms you know, and to write down those important memoiries!