It’s not the gift that counts

Last week special assemblies were held at the College to commemorate ANZAC Day. During these services staff and students alike pressed the pause button on our busy schedules as we took time to be reminded of and reflect on the tremendous sacrifice made by the men and women who served our nation, fighting to defend the rights and freedoms that we enjoy today.

With Mother’s Day in Australia traditionally celebrated just a few weeks after ANZAC Day, it struck me that within a short period of time we have the opportunity to stop, reflect and acknowledge the sacrificial love and service demonstrated by another significant group in our nation; our mothers. After being a member of the proverbial “Mother’s Club” for over 27 years myself, I can attest to the truth of a statement made to me by my own mother years ago; “you can never understand what being a mother is like until you actually are one.” I am sure that most mothers in the Cedars community would agree that there is nothing that can adequately prepare you for that physical and emotional jolt into motherhood, coinciding with the arrival of your child. In that moment, life as you once knew it changes forever.

In a letter to the church in Ephesus the Apostle Paul writes about the importance of showing love, honour and respect to all the members of our families. Given the patriarchal culture which was dominant at the time, it may have come as some surprise to the people in Ephesus that Paul identified mothers along with fathers as those to which high honour was due. As it says in Ephesians 6:2-3 “Honour your father and your mother. This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honour your father and mother, things will go well for you and you will have a long life on the earth”.

At Cedars we continually reinforce this message, encouraging our students to demonstrate an attitude of respect, honour and gratitude towards their parents. One of the ways this occurs is by providing the opportunity for our younger students to purchase a special gift for their Mum or Grandmother at the Mother’s Day Stall. This is a highly anticipated event for many of our primary students and I actually find it enjoyable and amusing to see our younger students in particular, deliberate over the choice of gift for their Mum. You can literally see in their faces the earnest contemplation and consideration that goes into deciding which gift best meets the needs and personality of their Mum. Will it be the pink oven mitts for the Mum who likes to bake, the journal and pen combo or perhaps a super-sized coffee mug?

However, as any of us Mums can tell you, it is certainly not the gift that counts! Instead, it is the love that we have for the little person behind the gift that matters most to us. So, to all the Cedars mums; whether it’s a coffee mug, a photo frame, scented candle or a bath bomb – remember that the gift you receive from your child this Mother’s Day is the result of your child/ren taking time to pause, even for just a moment, to think of you and how they can best show their love and appreciation for what you do for them every day. Happy Mother’s Day!