Mother's Day came about in Victorian times, apparently, when the servants in the big houses used to be given the day off to go and spend time with their mammies. It was often one of the only days in the year that the whole family would get to spend together - a kind of springtime Christmas.
So Mother’s Day is an occasion that actually has some cachet, as opposed to the series of other occasions that are foisted upon us by manufacturers of plastic rubbish, teddy bears and greetings cards (like ‘Love Day’ in The Simpsons).
When I was a young lad Mother’s Day was something that I forgot about every year until my dad appeared in his dressing gown and said ‘Go and take your mummy some toast, son.’ After handing my clearly touched mum two squares of carbon with a chunk of butter embedded in the middle, that was it, duty done, and normal Sunday service resumed.
But this has started to change gradually over the last little while, mainly due to the utter horror in the eyes of everyone I tell about my total uselessness on this front.
It’s only as you get older that you realise how much work mums actually do. I am not yet a parent – and barring an extraordinary turn-up for the books I will never be a mother – and so even half an hour in the company of my friends’ children is enough to make me reach for the bottle opener. ‘You want me to throw that frisbee again? But I’ve already thrown it once. And anyway, your daddy is already invoicing me for a new dining room window. I can’t afford this.’
So how my mum or anyone else’s does it is beyond me. Never mind one kid for five minutes, try three for thirty years and counting. I still haven’t stopped pestering my mum. Hedge fund management? The Presidency of theUSA? Negotiating with terrorists? A doddle by comparison, all three of them.
So remember to salute your mum this Sunday. If nothing else, at least don’t burn her toast.