Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Gordon Robinson | Isn’t she always special?

Published:Tuesday | May 23, 2017 | 5:00 AM

We're in-between 'special' days.

May 14 was Mother's Day. June 18 will be Father's Day. In reality, both should be named Merchant's Days after those purveyors of commerce intent on convincing you that if you 'show love' (by which they mean 'buy gifts') for your mother on that day, you're excused for ignoring her for the previous 364.

"Honour your mother and your father

that your days may be long on the land.

Children, obey your parents and the law

This is the law of the prophets."

As usual, we've imported this Mother's/Father's Day baloney from the Grandfather of Commercialism, the USA, where wealth is worshipped and cash is king.

When her mother, Ann Reeves, died in 1905, Anna Jarvis organised the first Mother's Day celebration at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton on the second Sunday in May because it was the Sunday closest to her mother's death.

Jarvis lobbied the government to declare her Mother's Day concept a national holiday. She saw Mother's Day as an opportunity for children to visit mothers at home and remember the sacrifices made.

She wrote: "This isn't a celebration of maudlin sentiment. It's one of practical benefit and patriotism, emphasising the home as the highest inspiration of our individual and national lives."

In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May a national Mother's Day holiday. Ironically, Jarvis, resentful of the holiday's commercialisation, spent the rest of her life trying to undo the proclamation.

It took until 1972 for Father's Day to be declared a national holiday. Since then, merchants lick their chops every May and June in anticipation of the coming bonanza.

"Love your parents as how you love yourself

Do unto others as they would do to you."

All these special days (Father's, Mother's, Valentine's (C'mon, man!), Teachers', Secretaries, etc) leave me cold. I contend that we should treat parents with love and care 365 days per year. If you don't, at least have the self-respect not to pretend on the second Sunday in May or the third in June.

Maybe it's because I'm not a mother (yet; science could still have the last laugh). Mothers are different. Her son could pick up the first stick he finds in the yard, brush it off, and take it to her "Happy Mother's Day, Mummy!" She'll be weeping instantaneously: "Oh, my beautiful son, you're so wonderful!" Yuck! That son wouldn't try anything similar with the father: "What's this? A stick? You found it in the yard, didn't you?" and proceed to use the stick to inflict a sound beating. Instead, he asks Dad for money to buy a Father's Day gift, buys Dad's favourite chocolates, and eats them on the way home.

 

BRILLIANT TIMING

 

This Mother's Day, The Ampersand, who wakes around noon most Sundays (unless Man U has a significant game), was up at 7:30 a.m. fixing the Old Ball and Chain's favourite breakfast, Belgian waffles with strawberries and cream. With the sort of brilliant timing only a firstborn son is capable of, the Computer Whiz got up as breakfast was ready and trundled upstairs with the Ampersand (Sputnik works in MoBay) to claim joint credit. They were greeted with tears of joy.

When I cook breakfast for Old BC, she complains it's too early, too much, too hot, or too cold. The boys once presented fried eggs and bacon for Mother's Day breakfast (she HATES fried egg) and were met with the same reaction as the Belgian waffles.

I accept birthdays and Christmas Day are to be celebrated. Mother's Day, Schmothers Day!

Desmond Adolphus Dacres was 22 years old when his first recording, Honour Your Mother and Your Father (written by Desmond), was released in 1963 by Leslie Kong on the now legendary Beverley's label. The group was called Desmond Dekker and the Aces (aka the 'Four Aces', including at different times Wilson James and the Howard brothers Clive, Barry, Carl and Patrick). They engaged in an unofficial but epic battle with Toots and the Maytals for top ska/rocksteady group that spilled over into Festival, where Toots finally triumphed, winning the first Festival Song Contest with Bam Bam (1966) and two more while Desmond succeeded only once with Intensified Festival (1968).

Barry refused to 'fly 'pon iron bird' when Desmond headed to England (to promote Israelites) where he enjoyed a successful solo career and combined with close friend Leon Delroy Williams to form the new Aces. Desmond died suddenly on May 25, 2006, in between Mother's Day and Father's Day.

Peace and love.

- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.