May 8th, 2011
Mother’s Day, as we know it, was declared a holiday in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe, who grew up not far from where I live and is best known for writing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” She originally set the date in June. But odes upon the importance of motherhood are as old as time itself. Here are a couple of gems, complete with illustration, from Godey’s Lady’s Book.
WE do not hear much of the mothers of great men. What their fathers were— what their reputation, qualities, and history— is related to us with great particularity; but their mothers are usually passed over in comparative silence. Yet it is abundantly proved, from experience, that, the mother’ s influence upon the development of the child’s nature and character is vastly greater than that of a father can be. “The mother only,” says Richter, “educates humanly. Man may direct the intellect, but woman cultivates the heart.” — Godey’s Lady’s Book, May 1854
THE MOTHER’S BLESSING
“MY mother ! my first, best friend! As I sit here, looking far back into the past, I can trace in every act that did me credit the influence of her love her tender care; and on every unworthy deed I seem still to see the sad, grieved face, the brimming eye, and, quivering lip she bent over me, trying, by sweet, winning love, to bend my stubborn will; and make me regret the act that caused her so much sorrow. Surely, the best gift in our heavenly Father’s sending is mother’ s love.” — Godey’s Lady’s Book, Mary 1858
Happy Mother’s Day!