Okay, so my Greek is a little rusty and I'm only hoping that the genitive singular of "mother" really is somewhat close to my English transliteration above... At any rate, I was thrown into a grammatical quandary on Saturday when discussing the "holiday" that is present in current US culture as "Mother's Day" and realized that I've seen the title written, variously, as Mother's Day, Mothers' Day, and Mothers Day. Most cards favored the singular possessive noun version, so I think that may be how it really ought to be. However, is that appropriate? Is the day really just belonging to one mother? Shouldn't it be plural possessive, as a day for all mothers? Or is the maternal address really just descriptive, and not possessive at all (as in, "a day relating but not belonging to mothers")? I just don't KNOW. And for a grammar stickler such as myself, that is agonizing. I discussed it at length with Candace, the English teacher; she had no answers for me. Must... do... research...
We had a few celebrations over the weekend. On Saturday, Candace and Rob were up from the LA area, so we had brunch for Debbie and Rosalee (Jeff's mom and grandma). It was pleasant and genteel and quite tasty (Debbie made quiche, the only quiche I've ever liked!), and marred only by the fact that Jerry was on holiday in Moab. Then on Sunday, Jeff and I took Debbie to lunch for Chinese food, and then strolled a bit through downtown Visalia. Jeff and I hadn't gone to church, because Jeff held forth that he would NOT subject himself to having to sit and listen to me gripe about exegetically inexcusable "Mother's Day" sermons. He didn't entirely escape, though, because sure enough, Debbie told us about the morning's sermon she'd heard at the E Free church, and while she said she found it true-to-life and encouraging, I spent most of the time pointing out to her all the ways that it wasn't actually doctrinal and drawn from the Bible. What can I say? I'm a tough audience.
I called my mom in the early afternoon, but she was about to sit down to a late lunch of BBQ salmon, so she had to hang up. She called me back several hours later, and we had a nice chat.
Last week, a student had an assignment to write a short essay about his mother. I told him, "You write about your mother, and I'll write about mine, and then we'll trade and read about each other's mothers." [Anything to get this kid to do his work.] I am not at liberty to publish the student essay, but I thought I'd share mine. Disclaimer: This was written in the course of 10 minutes or so, and has not been edited.
My mother is physically small, but is a giant in many other ways. Her heart, her mind, and her talent are all very large.
Mum loves people. She has spent most of the years of my life in active Christian ministry. She lived in the jungles of New Guinea for 12 years, enduring many illnesses, hard work, and adventures. She made a home for her family, despite limited resources. Later in her life, she worked as a teacher for the urban poor in Los Angeles, and lived among them in South Central LA. She also devoted herself to loving and serving not only her children, but their friends.
Mum is a very smart lady. She is a voracious reader and enjoys non-fction (historical books, as well as tomes on gardening and fiber arts) and fiction (such as books by Dorothy Sayers or Dorothy Gilman). She continues to teacher herself about math and science and other subjects, even though she is no longer a student in school.
Finally, Mum is very gifted and talented in such things as knitting and crocheting. She is certified with the Knitting Guild of America, and loves fiber arts. She even cards, dyes, and spins her own wool. Mum will soon launch her own line of specialty knitted goods, and it's sure to be very popular.
Wouldn't you like to meet my mom?
[Note: After reading my essay, the student simply wrote "yes" under the last line.]