If you’ve spent more than two minutes online this morning, you’ve undoubtedly been reminded already that today is Mother’s Day. (N.B.: Don’t make the mistake I made last year of mixing up the US and UK versions; my mom loved the card I sent but was understandably confused as to why it arrived in March.)
This is the second year of my life that my mom and I have spent Mother’s Day an ocean apart. In years past, even if I were away at school on such an occasion, we both knew it wouldn’t be long before I came dragging a pile of dirty laundry through the door and began promptly raiding the fridge. (These days I have to do my own laundry because it won’t all fit in my suitcase.)
Luckily, our generation has the miracle of modern technology at our disposal. In our hyper-connected world, we can call, Skype, FaceTime, or text anyone at any time. Moving across the Atlantic doesn’t seem so daunting when you can communicate instantaneously instead of having to wait three months for a ship to carry your letter one-way.
And yet, because of this privilege, we often fall into the same thought-trap that affects many of those living in super-cool cities. We assume that we’ve got time to see everything there is to see because we live there. There’s no rush to run down to this famous landmark or that pub you’ve been hearing about, because neither are going anywhere. Suddenly it’s five years later and you’ve been offered a great job in another state or country and it’s time to leave, and you haven’t even been inside Westminster Abbey yet.
Similarly, we assume that we can call and catch up with our loved ones anytime, so we often allow more “time-sensitive” things to take precedence. But even if we all lived forever and we all had a million more Mother’s Days, this particular day will not come again. Tomorrow is not today, and next year is not this year. Our concerns, perspectives, insights, and moods will change–however little or much–between now and any point in the future. We’ll want to talk about different things, explore different ideas, need advice for different circumstances. But today is only happening the one time.
Some of us have great relationships with our mothers, while others are more complicated. For some of us, the closest thing we have to a mother figure isn’t the one biology chose for us. In any case, they are literally the reason we’re here today, soaking in the rays of a giant ball of fire on a miraculous blue marble in space.
So Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there, and to the rest of you: call your momma!