Mother's Day Gifts

  |   By Elisabeth Dale

Mother's day is right around the corner, and it's not too late to honor your favorite mom.

Celebrated for over 100 years, Mother's Day -- as a national day of thanks -- was conceived by Anna Jarvis, a never-married, childless woman. Ms. Jarvis wished to recognize the efforts of her own mother, a well-known community activist, together with moms everywhere. Although she succeeded in her quest, Anna Jarvis regretted her accomplishment. Prior to her death in 1948, she regularly criticized the holiday's transformation into an excuse for consumer spending. I imagine Ms. Jarvis would have preferred we adopted a more reflective spirit of gratitude, perhaps along the lines of Veterans Day.

That analogy isn't so far-fetched. Mothers are veterans of the home-front, experiencing daily victories and defeats. My three may be grown, but I haven't forgotten the logistics of coordinating multiple carpools, feeding the troops, homework assignments, infirmary duty, and battling the occasional invasion of head lice.

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The war waged against my body -- nine months of bloating and heartburn, followed by labor and childbirth, was a walk in the park compared to sleepless nights and early morning roll calls. A meal out, chocolates, or flowers may not compensate for years of unpaid service (60% of women with children under 17 also work full-time), but it is thoughtful start. Besides, it's not the value of any present but the sentiment it conveys. My jewelry box is crammed full of of dried, dyed, hand-made macaroni necklaces marking my special day. The kid bling is priceless.

This Sunday, moms everywhere will join the parade of those who have served before them. My 92 year old mother -- pictured here -- is pulling rank on me, as usual. She's a seasoned veteran, deserving of bouquets, undivided attention, and a brunch out. I'll join my fellow soldiers and proudly wear my finest motherhood dress uniform, covering up the battle scars underneath.

But there's plenty of heavy artillery to defend against the ravages of pregnancy. Loose skin on your belly? No problem. Get your Spanx on. Less than perky bosoms? Hoist them into a push-up bra. Still nursing? Transform yourself into a HOTmilk mama. After all, the root of the word mother comes from the sound babies make when feeding at the breast. Why not wear these awards on our chest? We deserve it.

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