A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post titled “Mother’s Day Strike,” which was about taking the day off on Mother’s Day. It was funny and irreverent and total make-believe nonsense.
But last night, after perusing The Facebook and feeling more and more helpless to the hurt and pain and crazy, I started to wonder.
What if I actually did organize a Mother’s Day Strike?
What if I took this symbol of wholesome goodness, synonymous with America and apple pie – the construct of mother – and used it to remind ourselves of the one thing, maybe the only thing, that we can agree upon?
You may be wondering what that one thing is because, goodness knows, it doesn’t look like we can agree upon anything anymore. But according to every mother everywhere, it’s a love for our children.
A love that transcends cultural differences, religion, race, class, and even politics. A love that makes us think hard about the future, a time and place that we will never see but they will live. A love that personalizes every news story, every tragedy, and every tweet.
What would a Mother’s Day Strike look like exactly? I’m not much of a political activist, but here are a few thoughts off the top of my head.
On Mother’s Day, we would take all of our bouquets and gifts and pile them up on the steps of our state capitals. Mountains of flowers and handmade cards from our children would rest at the feet of the democratic institutions that have failed us and them.
Perhaps there would be a few speakers, some arts and crafts for the kids. We may even serve brunch and have a mimosa or three. (I’ll coordinate the SignUpGenius. Dibs on the fruit platter.)
After that, we could take pictures of ourselves with our children and post them to The Facebook and Instagram, tagging each and every one of our state senators and the president with a special message that says, “The Mothers are Watching You.”
Because everyone knows that moms have eyes in the backs of their heads and that is enough to scare grown men, which is exactly what we’re trying to do here.
Then we’d take to The Twitter and write the same phrase – The Mothers are Watching You – adding in the handles of our elected officials along with a personalized message detailing what, exactly, we’re watching with those eyes in the backs of our heads.
Oh, and I even have a hashtag: #momwatch
For the more radical mamas, we could consider a march, although I’d prefer a sit-in because it is, after all, Mother’s Day. And then we could get arrested, which would be such an act of America turning on itself and its extolled values that we may just get people’s attention.
Arresting mothers on Mother’s Day?!?!
Finally, to really bring it home, we’d make t-shirts. Not just your regular t-shirt with “Mother’s Day Strike” emblazoned across the front. Nope, there will be no words. Just pictures. Thousands of pictures of mothers’ faces giving that look.
The one where we stare hard without blinking, slightly raise our eyebrows, and tense every muscle in our face into one big frown. The one that stops everyone in their tracks. The nonverbal message screaming, “I have had enough.”
Because I’ve definitely had enough.
I have had enough of children shooting other children in schools. Receiving email messages from my son’s high school alerting me to the fact that they are practicing a “lock down drill” just like they would, say, announce the school lunch menu.
I have had enough of big business poisoning the air my children breathe, the water my children drink, and the food my children eat. Leaving us to wonder why there are so many new food allergies, cases of “mystery autoimmune diseases,” when they know exactly what they’ve done.
I have had enough of terrified children in jail cells, their mothers – women who are just like you and me – far away. A cruelty that no mother would ever, ever in a million billion years inflict on another.
I have had enough.
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10, 2020. I’m booked in the morning with brunch, but after that, I’m hosting a one-woman strike. Hope to see you there.
Share this with other mothers who have had enough. Or anyone who has a mother. Which is EVERYONE.