Paradise and Parenting


Mother’s Day in Mexico

It was really difficult for me to write a piece about Mother’s Day, since my own momma went back to Canada last week after she and my dad stayed with us for their customary four months.  The difficulty is mostly due to the fact that I miss having her here with us, and only partly because now we are back to doing our own laundry again.  No one has had a matching sock for 4 days now.

I hope she will one day be able to stay for Mother’s Day in Mexico, which occurs every May 10, because there’s nothing quite like a Mexican celebration of the most worthy person in our lives.  The basic idea of an official Mother’s Day was imported from the U.S. in 1922, but Mexico has certainly made the day their own.

Many schools in Mexico take the lead here and quite often put on a show for the mothers of the students. Food is usually provided, and music or poetry is prepared by the students, along with a thoughtful gift or card made by each child (and here I had always thought the macaroni picture frame was only a Canadian phenomenon).

[img_reflect_right src=”×300.jpg”]I used to rent a house in a fairly traditional neighborhood dear downtown Vallarta.  Every May 10 at 4am, we would all be awakened in a startling, apocalyptic manner, thanks to the mariachi group that the neighbor’s adult children always hired to play the traditional “Las Mañanitas” for their beloved mama.  The music would continue on all day, and people of every imaginable sort would walk by to call on their mothers up and down the street.  There were astonishing quantities of food cheerfully being hauled up flights of stairs, gifts being shyly brought from behind tiny little backs, and well, every sort of fiesta you can imagine.  At the center of each was usually a smiling, wrinkly little lady being treated like queen for the day.
This yearly event made a huge impression on me. I pictured myself (without any wrinkles of course) surrounded by my adoring family as the mariachi played.   I started to hope against hope that I could one day suffer the same royal 4am fate of my neighbors.  So when I saw my future husband take his mother’s hand and call her “mami” and make sure she never had to walk on the street side of the sidewalk, it dawned on me that perhaps I might like to be the mother of this man’s child.   And every year when I wake up on May 10 at (a slightly more respectable) 6am to the precious sight of two kids clad only in Nickelodeon underwear and their dad strumming Las Mañanitas on his guitar as they all belt it out with feeling, I know that that was one of the smartest decisions I ever made.

By Leza Warkentin

One comment

  1. For many men, Mother’s Day is everyday. For my mother , Mother’s Day ceased when I was thirteen years old. My father’s mother, my grandmother , became my acting mother. When I courted my wife for seven years, her mother also became another acting mother. Me without a living mother, my wife at 19 years of age, took the place of my grandmother, and her mother.

    This may seem strange – for a mother, grandmother , and great grandmother, have been identified as passing on through their epi-genome, to you, their genetic changes acquired during their lives, that transfer inherent characteristics that effect your personality, behavior, feelings, and appearance; that carry with you your whole life. Your mother, even gave you your immune system from the milk in her breasts.

    So every day, a part of your mother is with you, physically, mentally, and spirituality . Because no man is a mother, on Mother’s Day, all men are reminded of the contributions of their mother, and have an occasion to tell them how important they are in their life, either in person, or in spirit.

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