Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Toast for Mothers

Our mothers are as varied and complex as espresso
According to an interesting article in The Economist, scientists reckon there are over 1,200 various chemical substances that reside inside a single-roasted coffee bean. Espresso, of all coffee preparations, releases more of these chemicals than any other preparation. So, too, does motherhood involve more of the human senses than any other act or bond.

For a variety of reasons, we are most attached to our mothers, more so than our fathers, siblings, or relatives. Mothers always seem near, even when they are not physically nearby. Mothers always seem to "know", even when they don't understand what might really be going on. Mothers always seem to care, even when it is hard to do so on our behalf. In some way, these and other factors contribute to the attachment that makes mothers top of the family heap.

Thanks to Anna Jarvis, Mother's Day is now a thoroughly recognized holiday in the US and beyond, although the roots of celebrating and commemorating motherhood run much deeper than the annual second Sunday of May that officiates the event. Motherhood has been recognized as vital to national interests and statehood going back to the Greeks, and Augustus enacted fairly thorough ordinances centered around motherhood to encourage marriage and procreation to maintain the power of the Roman Empire. 

That's all to say that motherhood is important and heady stuff, and we should be grateful for our mothers, what they do, and how important they are to our lives. Which brings me back from an afternoon pause with a tasty espresso and a daydream about Ancient Rome, to raise a toast for Mothers. Here's to celebrating my wife (mothering a furry friend counts!), my own mother, and all those family and friends who are mothers on this special day.
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