A Song For My Mother - Awit Para Kay Nanay

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Three years ago, my third child wrote his first music composition which he presented to me for Mother's Day. He was about 13 when he wrote this song titled "A Song For My Mother - Awit Para Kay Nanay". He has composed quite a few songs, however, this still remains my favorite song.

This Sunday is Mother's Day. Did you know that the person who advocated for the celebration of Mother's Day died protesting against the abuse and commercialization of what the holiday had become?

The first Mother's Day celebration in the U.S. was in 1907, when Anna Javis held a memorial service for her mother.  She campaigned to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the U.S.  Finally, after 7 years, on May 8, 1914, the U.S. Congress passed a  law designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. On May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declaring the first national Mother's Day as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons died in war.

However, by the 1920s, Javis was already disappointed with the commercialization of Mother's Day. She spent all her inheritance and the rest of her life fighting what she saw was an abuse of the celebration. She decried the practice of purchasing greeting cards, which she saw as a sign of being too lazy to write a personal letter. In 1948, she was arrested for disturbing the peace while protesting against the commercialization of Mother's Day, and she finally said "...wished she would have never started the day because it became out of control..." She died later that year. (wikipedia)

Like any other holiday, sometimes we fall into the commercial aspect of the holiday and lose sight of what the celebration is about. I love receiving gifts but the best gift I believe is a letter from my child.

I love receiving personal notes from my children. Ever since they were little, I have been insisting that they write their own greeting cards - it just adds a little emotion. (It's also an excuse for me to know what they're thinking and feeling).

With the hectic schedule, sometimes I wonder if I neglect my family's needs -- and wants.

Sometimes in my journey of being a mother, I can't help wonder whether or not I'm doing the right thing...
Sometimes it's easier to grasp the complexities of child development when he is just learning how to walk.
However, I feel like it gets tougher once he starts walking on his own, makes decisions and choices without seeking my approval.
I'm always wondering, second-guessing.
But then out of a blue, he sends me a note saying how much he loves me.

I realize, kids do listen after all.

So when you're busy schlepping the kids, getting the house organized, feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with the daily challenges, feeling like you don't have a single hour for yourself, and when you feel like no one's listening -- I tell you, they are listening.

Last year when I asked my second child, my 20 year old, to write the introduction for "Out of Status", I realized that we indeed survived his rebellious teenage years -- our bond was stronger! 

He was listening after all.
      Here's what he wrote:

Life is a collection of constant adjustments. It is the act of adapting to new settings and the combined reactions to the different hardships one may face on a daily basis. A family is a group of people that fills in the gaps. Upon deciding which road to take, a family helps you point out the pros and cons of each option and guides you along whichever path you choose. A family is there to help you work around and learn from the mistakes you may have made along the way. A well-connected family is what fuels a constant growth in one's security, confidence, and passion. Taking the reins of every great family is, more often than not, a strong motherly figure.

A mother can look briefly into a refrigerator and calculate exactly how much food is needed. A mother can make a pile of dirty clothes smell like a breath of air from the heavens. A mother will put off anything for the well-being of her family and still manage to get all the other important things in her schedule taken care of. A mother is someone who never sleeps until she knows (or in most cases for me, thinks) all her children are tucked quietly into bed, a feat that can prove rather difficult when your 16-year-old son suffers from self-induced insomnia (even more difficult when that son turns 20 and moves across the country).

This is the story of my mother. This is a collection of her hardships and a written documentation of the hard work, the support, and the love that she has brought not only to this family, but to this world. This is a book accounting the hope and inspiration that has brought me to where I am today. This is my mother's American dream.

My youngest (11yo), recently told me that "Motherhood is not a job. It's a gift -- a special gift!".

My oldest, who is turning 23 this month, wrote this when she was 7, and still one of my favorites:

We celebrate Mother’s Day because mothers are special.
They care for us.
They tuck us in at night.
When we are bad and when they punish us, they still love us.
They love us all the time.

They sing to us before we go to sleep.
Moms bring us to school and pick us up.
Moms give us hugs and kisses.
They wake us up and give us hugs and kisses.
When we come home after school, they are happy.
They think about us all the time.
Sometimes moms play with their kids.
They are happy for us when they see a good report card.
They help us when we are sick.
They stay with you when you are in the hospital.

Sometimes moms give babies or kids a bath.
Sometimes moms help their kids with their homework.
Sometimes moms stay with their kids at the doctor’s.

All of these and many more.

To all the mothers, Happy Mother’s Day
And to my mom – She works very HARD at home, and on Mother’s Day
She will have to relax for a LOT OF DAYS.

These are a few reasons why I look forward to Mother's Day.

From my family to yours, may you have a relaxing and lovely Mother's Day weekend. 
Put your feet up, laugh and dance together, enjoy your family and remember -- this is your special weekend.

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  1. Happy Mother's Day Jen! Enjoy your day in the warmth and love of home and family :)

    1. Thanks, Anne. Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day, too.

  2. A favorite quote: "MOTHER IS THE NAME FOR GOD IN THE LIPS AND HEARTS OF LITTLE CHILDREN." William Makepeace Thackeray

    Profoundly and magnificently true on so many levels...Belated Mother's Day to you, Jen...I bow to the Divine Mother present within you. <3


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