College graduation and Mother’s Day are most appropriate partners that make for a glorious weekend celebration! What more could a mother want than to see her offspring strut across the stage in academic regalia.
According to Wikipedia, the modern day Mother’s Day “holiday” was first celebrated in 1907, when Anna Jarvis held the first Mother’s Day service of worship at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Her campaign by her to make Mother’s Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother by her, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Congress rejected a proposal in 1908 to make Mother’s Day an official holiday, joking that they would also have to proclaim a “Mother-in-law’s Day” which obviously didn’t play with the male-dominated Congress. It wasn’t until 1914 that Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day to be held on the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers.
In case you are the college graduate, your strutting across the stage is definitely not the only gift you should give your mom. I know, I know. You are strapped for cash and can’t pony up the money for a Kate Spade bag or a robot vacuum cleaner, but you can make it special in other ways. Remember, she loved your macaroni art back in the day.
If you search for gift ideas for your mom online, you are led to believe that flowers are the way to go. Perhaps even a bouquet subscription. You know, where you don’t have to shop, just supply your credit card and an arrangement arrives each month. Other ideas include a book of the month club as well as master class videos, including makeup with Bobbi Brown or photography with Annie Leibovitz.
Another idea is a personalized “Cameo” with a celebrity. It is personalized Cameo video from her favorite “star.” Again, don’t schlep around the mall in desperation. Yes, it’s online and you simply click on a celebrity and provide your credit card to purchase. Let’s say your mom is into Kenny G. This Cameo video will cost you $350 which appears to be one of the more expensive celebrities but quite frankly, I didn’t recognize many of the others. Mississippi State head football coach Mike Leach goes for $150. I suppose this might be the beginning of coaches trying to keep up with the Name, Image and Likeness (NIL), the means through which college athletes are allowed to make money off their Name, Image, and Likeness.
I’m not sure if there was a concerted effort among colleges to have commencement ceremonies on the same weekend as Mother’s Day or not, but it was terrific timing. After all, graduation might be a day to honor the student but let’s be real, it’s an acknowledgment of all the mothers who deserve to celebrate—and be celebrated—this significant milestone in the life of their child. After all, who got the kid out of bed and got them ready for school? Who labored over the homework? Who baked cookies and showed up as a room parent year after year?
Back in the day when long-distance phone calls were charged by the minute, “Ma Bell” (that’s the telephone company, Bell Telephone Company, later AT&T)—made a fortune on those charges to call your mother “long distance” on Mother’s Day.
My mother passed in October 2000, and I miss her every day. She was a wonderful mother and my biggest cheerleader and sometimes my harshest critic when I needed it. Don’t forget all the roles your mother fills: teacher, philosopher, chef, nurse, chauffer, bodyguard, and magician. You learn so much from your mother. She is the role model whose values you carry forward in life.
Congratulations to all the graduates as they cross that stage. It is as symbolic as any moment in your life. It means that you are now armed with an education, that you have accomplished this milestone and learned much beyond the classroom, and are about to launch into true adulthood. Find your family in the crowd and blow your mom a kiss. She deserves it.
Bonnie Brown writes a weekly column for The Oxford Eagle. contact her email@example.com.