However, Miss Mary became a mother figure to thousands of children and Christ Child members throughout her years of service. She saw the Christ Child in every child and strove to make their lives just a bit better.
As mothers, we also want what is best for our children and hope to make their world a bit better. We have lived through the early years when, just trying to keep your child alive was the main focus…stay away from the street, strangers and electrical sockets. No, you cannot have cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yes, you can ride your bike to your friend’s house but please watch out for cars. I guess it is time for you to get your driver’s license. And that moved us to the hope and a prayer stage. I hope you make the right choices when away at school. I pray that you watch where you walk at night all alone. I don’t wait up for you, but I do constantly hope and pray that you are okay. And soon your daughters and sons have kids of their own and without judging (okay, maybe just a bit of judging) you watch them have babies and become the parents you hoped they would be.
That is when Mother’s Day changes for you. When my kids were young, I just wanted to have them around me on that special day. I let them pick what the day would hold. Over the years I had breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea and dinner both at home and out. I received the handprint pictures, the potholders, the carefully purchased gifts and the homemade cards. We attended a production of The Importance of Being Earnest” (my older daughter’s choice), Die Hard movie (my son) and a volleyball game (my younger daughter). We hung out with family and friends. However, now that my children have kids of their own, the spotlight is on my daughters and daughter-in-law…and you know…that is just fine with me. Don’t get me wrong. I still get attention, but I am happy to pass the Mother’s Day torch to the girls. Of course, during this crazy time, the attention comes via zoom or Facetime. Hugs will have to wait.
As Christ Child members, we have the opportunity to follow Mary Virginia Merrick’s legacy and be a mothering influence on the children we serve. Whether we have children of our own or not, (and I include our male volunteers here to) we can all see the Christ Child in the young ones we interact with. We can be that mentor, that warm welcome, that smile. I know that many of you think of those you serve as your own. What a perfect thought for Mother’s Day. I think we would all agree that without mothers, the world would be a little less gentle, a little less kind and, I think you’ll all agree, there would be way less home cooking.