Mothering Sunday (and not Mothers Day as it so often called) has its origin in the tradition of visiting ones ‘mother church’ during lent children and more often than not daughters, who were in service were allowed home from their place of employment to attend church and were given spring flowers to give to their own mothers.
But now of course rampant commercialism has got it’s sticky mitts on what was a religious festival, its a bit more than a few daffs; I have mixed feelings on the subject, it used to mean in my flower shop owning days, doing three weeks turnover in about three days, with a perishable labour intensive product, all do-able, but hard graft was compulsory, impeccable planing essential and a dose of good luck desirable. It was vital to keep a keen eye on quality control, there is nothing more lioness like that a mother whose ‘cub’ has been sold a dodgy pot plant or a sub standard bunch of daffodils, believe me.
Mothering Sunday is pretty low key in our family, my mum is happy with a card (home made by the grandchildren being the favoured) a phone call or a visit, my mum in law ‘doesn’t do’ Mothering Sunday so that just leaves me, I am just more than happy with a mug of tea in bed, happy in the knowledge, the boys say ‘thanks mum’, all year round and that I haven’t got to worry about competing with the loss leaders of the big super markets, (this years, 30 tulips for £4.00 at Tesco’s is a hard one to match.)
What was very clear across the shop counter that not all families think like ours, if you think sibling rivalry is bad at valentines, it is matched if not exceed at Mothers day, there is nothing like a big flash vase of tropical flowers juxtaposed with jug of daffodils on the sideboard, to emphasize and highlight the difference between the son/daughter ‘done good’ and the son/daughter just scraping by and making ends meet and I’ve seen high flying business types in a total flap over the fact they have forgotten to order flowers for their mother, in a way I sure the wouldn’t if the were brokering a multi million pound deal, family dynamics a complex topic. you would also be amazed how many people don’t know their mums address, honest.
But at the shop we loooved the new dads, with babes in arms coming in to by their first ‘Mothers Day’ gift and we had time for the little kids agonising over which colour primula to buy and counting out their pocket money on the counter.
On the Monday after Mothering Sunday, we would get the stragglers, who had missed the boat, forgotten all about it and were now in big trouble with the wrath of their mothers hanging over them; some with enough cheek to ask if we would make a delivery to their mum and tell her that we had messed up and forgotten to deliver the flowers, not that her precious son who had screwed up, (and it was always men who asked this one) Errr no, I don’t think so, time to grow up son, didn’t your mum always teach you to tell the truth.