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Qualifying our celebration of Mother's Day
Celebrating Mothers Day is not a slight to children without mothers.
Today is Mother's Day, and the Washington Post has an article about a controversy that arose from a teacher trying to be "sensitive to the fact that not all students live with a mother." But let's put the issue of "banning" a book about "two daddies" aside for a moment. A better question is this: Why do we have to qualify our celebration of Mother's Day? Why is it bad to allow people to honor their mothers on the second Sunday in May?
Very few children live without their mother. According to the Census Bureau, 4.5% of children live with only their father, and 4% of children have no parent in the home. Of those, 55% have a grandparent in the household. Why is it bad to allow 91% of children to celebrate this holiday without a qualifier?
It is indeed a very sad thing for children to live without their mother for whatever reason. Some mothers have died tragically, and some mothers have lost custody of their children. And if there actually are any children in that class with no mother who feel sad and left out, of course the teacher should be sensitive to those children and comfort them in their grief. But it is absurd to change the lesson plan for the entire class to cater to those children.
We live in a society where the rules must always bow to the exceptions. We cannot celebrate anything without acknowledging those who do not have that thing. Celebrating Mothers Day is not a slight to children without mothers, and honoring mothers does not dishonor single women or childless married women. We should not begrudge the happiness of someone else if they have something we do not.
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