Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

My family isn’t big on holidays. Other than Christmas and birthdays we tend to celebrate the bare minimum if at all. Mothers day is really no different. Not to say that we ignore each other. I think part of the reason why holidays seem less necessary is due to our closeness on a regular basis. So while I did spend Saturday with my mum its wasn’t really in celebration of mothers day, it was just a normal fun day out between mother and daughter. But it did get me thinking about the role of mothers throughout history and in different cultures.

I think it is safe to say that in nearly every culture mothers are the stronger parental presence in the home. Whether it be a hut in Central Africa or a condo in Japan mothers take care of the daily business of children, cooking, and cleaning. The means of doing so may be very different but at the base level mothers are the ones that pass on to their daughters and in many post industrial societies also their sons, the life skills necessary to care for themselves and their future families.  As grand social schemes change in society it becomes more important to instill these skills into both sexes of the youth. But as we have passed through the post war, post depression eras of American living, microwave meals and instant dishes replaced roasted chickens and veggies. For many families the life skills that have been passed on have become an awareness of microwave and toaster oven use and in some cases to go ordering skills. There is literally nowhere else a child is going to gain skills to plan, shop and then go home not only safely but successfully prepare a meal. Mothers hold and pass on this information and if they never got it from their mothers, than the future children in the family will most likely never pick up these skills.

I was incredibly lucky, every time I prepare a meal I think of my mom and all the years of joint cooking we did when I was younger. I knew at the time that the kitchen lessons I had with mom were important but I didn’t realize until recently how priceless and rare they truly were. I graduated from high school fully prepared to run a kitchen and do so nutritionally. So daughters thank your mothers for all the lessons they have taught you. And if you are a new mother don’t forget to spend time teaching these skills to your kids, boy or girls. No one else is going to teach your kids these skills, and knowing how to feed one’s self in a healthy sustainable way is going to make or break our future in food, health and the environment.

My favorite mother daughter team
Me, my mom's best friend Marcene, me madre, and my friend Brooke (Marcene's daughter)

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