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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mamaste (peace to your mama)

This Mother's Day, I once again veered from my usual method of instigating Forced Family Fun (FFF) outings and allowed the day to flow--sort of like the "Gentle" Yoga class I grunted through yesterday: harmonious yet physically exhausting. Cards, hugs, the zoo, iced coffee and not having to cook dinner were all welcome gifts to this mama as I counted my little blessings (two, to be exact, plus one darling husband).

However, not every Mother's Day started out with Hallmark shilling cards and candies.

Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation of 1870 struck a chord in my heart, as her poetry underscores the fierce love of a mother for her children. Although she also wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic 12 years earlier (this chick had passion), Howe changed her tune (literally) as she witnessed what she felt was the futility of "sons killing sons of other mothers" during the Civil war.
This ain't no tea party, folks:

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts,
Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears
Say firmly:

"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of
charity, mercy and patience.

"We women of one country
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!"

...In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions.
The great and general interests of peace.

Hence...Mother's Day--more intense than brunch.


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