Mother’s Day at the library

Okay. I hate that the complicated, intense emotions  surrounding motherhood have been co-opted by corporations on the principle that every occasion can be leveraged to flog stuff. Surely there’s a way to celebrate  Mother’s Day without diminishing it to a jackpot for Hallmark? Well, trust libraries to figure out an answer.  Actually, I believe libraries are the answer (to just about everything). So: when my local library marked Mother’s Day by inviting kids to plant a flower for their moms in their community garden, we joined in gladly.

The flower just above the trowel was planted by my son FOR ME.

Some eager young planters with their moms. I’m the one back in the right in the blue T-shirt and ill-fitting green pants, busily eating a muffin. Because librarians understand that you can’t survive motherhood without caffeine and sugar —>

Coffee and eats were provided by local businesses, as were the plants. The library staff came prepared with a bucket of soapy water for washing little muddy hands, paper towels to dry off and even Toy Story bandages for those yet to develop fine motor skills. And when we finished planting our flower, we went in for storytime, where my son learnt about visual disabilities and treating differently-abled people with respect.

This is why we need libraries–to reaffirm the importance of civility and restraint and generosity, to demonstrate to impressionable young minds that the good things in life aren’t the most expensive, and to understand the value of community. And for a new mother, libraries are  safe spaces, they are panic rooms, they are sanctuaries. When I moved to my current city, my son was a year old, and I didn’t know a single person; the first friends I made were at library storytimes with other neophyte moms. And my son turned five last week, and he made me a card and a jewelry box and a necklace in candy colors for Mother’s Day, and then we celebrated some more at the library. If I haven’t said it often enough to librarians in my past and present: Thank you. You are all awesome.

(All pictures courtesy Caitlin Fralick of the Westdale library.)

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12 responses to “Mother’s Day at the library

  1. And thank you for telling us about an alternative to Hallmark’s version of Mother’s Day.

  2. My youngest two daughters made me homemade cards, and both of them inserted coupons for different things: watering plants, cleaning their room, being nice to each other (bc that doesn’t come easily), hugs, kisses, fetching a glass of water, etc. I loved them!

  3. piningforthewest

    What a lovely idea. Our Mother’s Day is in March but we never bother with it simply because we don’t like being manipulated. You are very lucky having such a great library and staff.

    • It’s a really great library. I really do not understand how any government could contemplate closing down a library–it breaks my heart.

  4. After being hit by a blizzard of inane messages about mother’s day in the media, this post is therapeutic.

  5. I absolutely love the way you celebrated Mom’s Day and could not agree more about how public libraries enrich our world.

  6. Nice blog. I appreciate this.

  7. What a fantastic opportunity that the library put on! Love it, and so true – libraries are so important and we can’t thank them enough can we :)