TodayÂ — as anyone with a calendar, TV, radio, or hangover knows — is New Year’s Day.Â It also happens to be the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.
It has occurred to me that the timing of this feast day is brilliant.Â The real, historical background for the feast can be found here, for any interested parties.Â Â But I personally think there are two major reasons why it makes sense to celebrate Mary on January 1.
Reason One: it’s one week after the birth of Christ.Â I don’t know about the other moms out there, but frankly, one week after giving birth, I was not at my best.Â I was severely sleep-deprived; I had major soreness from nursing (that was as true with my second child as with my first, unfortunately).Â Due to my C-section incisions, I could not laugh without pain, and I had to execute a series of intricate gymnastic maneuvers to do something as simple as get out of bed, an activity which normally requires the use of my egregiously undervalued abdominal muscles.Â Â Yes, I was basking in the glow of my sweet little babies, but my body felt like it had been taxed to the breaking point.Â Throw in the inevitable post-birth hormonal fluctuations, and I felt like a royal mess.
It would have been the perfect time for the world to honor me with a feast day.Â That would have cheered me up considerably.
Reason Two: January 1st is a new year, and a new start.Â I think that all moms — Mary included –Â really get the importance of giving second chances.Â Moms are pros at this.
For example: on a Sunday morning, your toddler zealously sweeps the coffee table clean of Annoying Things That Are Not Thomas the Tank Engine Toys. Unfortunately, one of those things happens to be a water glass, which breaks all over the floor.Â The toddler instantly knows that he’s made a big mistake.Â You, in your infinite mercy and kindness, do not flip out at him, and instead turn it into a teachable moment (after you’ve sequestered him safely in his crib and spent fifteen minutes obsessively vaccuuming a five-foot radius around the crash site, that is).Â The repentant toddler is then free to return to his Thomas toys.Â See?Â Second chances.
Oh, and if you DID flip out and utter harsh words, the good news is that you, Mom, get a second chance, too.