Mother's Day vs. Pickle Week

It seems like we celebrate just about anything these days. It's as if Congress (and Hallmark) have hung out a banner announcing, "Holidays For Sale! No Idea Too Offbeat!" And so in addition to the traditional holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter and the Fourth of July, we have days set aside to pay homage to secretaries, grandparents, nurses . . . you name it. Entire festivals are even devoted to foods like garlic, corn, kumquats and pasta. Now, while I'm all for a good Garlic-Kumquat Pasta, today something was brought to my attention that forces me to take a stand against all these frivolous festivities. It seems that while one brief day is devoted each year to honoring we Mothers, our green friend the Pickle rates an entire week!

A week?!? (Pardon me while I turn green with envy.)

Yes, National Pickle Week. Please tell me what a pickle has that I don't? What attributes does a dill possess that earn it kudos for seven days? Am I not as cute as a cucumber? Zesty as a zucchini? Perhaps I don't look as sweet as the pickle chips next to the sandwich, but I MAKE THE SANDWICH! I may not be as petite as a baby gherkin, but I MAKE THE BABIES! And need I point out the irony that the leading pickle manufacturer uses a stork to hawk its brand? Not to mention that the pickle itself has been the stereotypical staple of pregnancy cravings since Lucy was "with child," carrying Little Ricki? Someone stop me... these pickle analogies could go on all day.

What I am trying to say, with all due respect to the folks at Claussen and Vlasic, is this: Put a lid on it. I AM MOTHER! HEAR ME ROAR!

With the notable exception of the December religious holidays, there is certainly no one more deserving of recognition and honor than the mothers of the world. All right, all right, Father's Day is important too, but until men sprout fallopian tubes and begin to ovulate, their day will remain second banana to Mom's.

There is simply something special about a Mom and what she does. And no, I am not talking about the obvious things like laundry, cleaning, cooking, and chauffeuring. (Although the fact that we are the ones to actually clean the underside of the toilet seat is certainly due its reverence.) Here are just a few of the unseen, unheard, unthought-of reasons why "Mom" deserves at least, if not more, recognition than a Kosher Dill:

~For all the nights spent lying awake and pregnant, scared of the future, trapped by the future and awed by the future, all at the same time.

~For all the times we have snuck into the kid's rooms at night and held a finger under their noses just to "make sure."

~For every time we have silently done without, in order that our child can place a book order, go on a field trip or get those new cool shoes.

~For every moment we spend dying inside when our child suffers a disappointment or physical trauma.

~For each second we hold our breath waiting for a newly licensed teen to pull safely back into the driveway on Friday nights.

~For all the tears we shed in private when we think we just can't do it another day, and then somehow emerge with a smile and do it another day.

And so, while we will continue to celebrate trees, tulips, turkeys and tumbleweeds, keep one more thing in mind as Mother's Day draws near. While pickles may certainly have their place in our society, and next to our sandwiches, no vinegared cuke shall ever attain the bittersweet omniscience of a Mom. For to quote the wise novelist Peter De Vries, "God could not be everywhere, so he made Mothers."

(Pickles came MUCH later.)

Copyright 2000 by Linda M. Sharp. Reprinted with permission. 
Linda Sharp is an internationally published humorist who writes regularly on the joyous and frustrating world of parenting. Her work appears across the Internet and wraps around the globe in parenting publications from Canada to Malaysia.
Linda is co-creator of the award winning website,
Sanity Central — A Time Out From Parenting! Located at http://www.sanitycentral.com, it is totally irreverent, hysterical and packed with enough laughs to brighten even the weariest of parents! As a mother of three children (four if you count her husband), she firmly believes that laughter IS the best medicine. She may be reached via email at lsharp03@aol.com.