May and the celebration of Mother’s Day is another wonderful tradition. This has been the case for a long time. Historian Lucille J. Goodyear traced the annual tribute to the mother of the gods by the Greeks and Romans. During the 16th century in England, a celebration called ‘Mothering Sunday” was inaugurated – a Sunday set aside for visiting one’s mother. The eldest son or daughter would bring a “mothering cake” which would be cut and shared by the entire family.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac reports, the American observance of Mother’s Day mainly came about through the efforts of a devoted daughter, Ann M. Jarvis.

After the death of her own mother in 1905, Jarvis wanted to recognize the sacrifices mothers made for their children. Ms. Jarvis’ mother was an amazing woman who had organized ‘Mother’s Work Days” to save the lives of those dying from polluted water. During the Civil War, she organized women’s brigades, encouraging women to help without regard for which side their men had chosen.

Anna Jarvis organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration in May 10, 1908 at a Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Her efforts came to the attention of the mayor of Philadelphia, who proclaimed a local Mother’s Day.

I guess the politicians knew a good things when they saw it so on May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May Mother’s Day, and within a few years, the idea gained worldwide prominence.

The love for our mothers and celebrating Mother’s Day continues. While everyone shows their affection for their mothers in different ways, taking mom out to eat, sending fresh flowers, and buying jewelry remain very popular.

Last year, total spending for Mother’s Day hit a record of nearly $25 billion. Clearly, this is the American favorite time to eat out. This coming Mother’s Day, restaurants are expected to gross more than $90 million. Americans like showering their moms with flowers, too. Mother’s Day ranks just under Christmas and Hanukkah as the second largest flower holiday.

As a former principal, I have had the pleasure of meeting thousands of maternal parents. You know, I never met one who did not want what was best for her children. So to all of the mothers, grandmothers, and foster moms, I salute you and thank you for the love and devotion you give to your sons and daughters. Enjoy your special day and every day.

Carl Persis

Chair, Central Florida Public School
Boards Coalition

Volusia County School Board, District 4