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Sunday, 14 February 2010

Family Day

Today is Family Day here in Israel [by coincidence, as it goes by the Hebrew date, it is also Valentine's day else where in the world..*]. Family Day. Until not so long ago it was called Mother's Day. As a child we celebrated this day as Mother's Day, making things for mother in art class, drawing a picture just for her, etc, you know - the regular stuff kids do on Mother's Day (oh, and the songs! those lovely Mother Day songs..). Problem was, we didn't have a day to celebrate the dads, no Father's Day, so being politically correct, it was decided to change this day from mother to family, and it is now a day to celebrate familyness [though some still refer to it as Mother's Day].

It kind of saddens me that there is no day now where my daughter will have to look at me and say - thank you. Most days will obviously be around her, loving and caring for her, and I want that, I want a daughter to love and care for and do everything in the world to make her happy. But I would also love one day in the whole year where motherhood is honoured.

But then, maybe it's not a bad thing, having a day designated for the whole family, for mother; father; child; grandparent etc? Maybe it's better for families who are not the typical mother-father-child types of families? If a child doesn't have a mother, a day like this (i.e Mother's Day) might be a painful day (assuming there was once a mother and for whatever reason now there isn't. I would think that in a case where a guy/guys raise kids without a female partner that such a day would be less traumatic for the child. Then again, for such a child [one who had and lost a mother], family day is probably not much better). And yes, I know how painful this day can be when you are trying and trying and trying to have your own child and not (yet!) succeeding.
And on the other front, as someone who is building a family in an unconventional way, maybe it's good that there is a day to say - hey, we (woman and child) are a family, and those two guys with their kids are family too as are those kids with their two mothers, and that child living with her grandparents, that's her family, and the boy with divorced parents - that's another type of family. So many types of families today, every family might be unique in thier structure, but every family has a common thread - they (we!) are all a bunch of people in which the adults care and love their young ones. And yes, there may be bad feelings amongst some family members and people not talking to each other etc, I'm sure every family has its story, but on the whole a family is a group of people that forms a close knit unit. So it is good that there is a day where the focus is on family, and what makes a family. [though there are always those narrow minded old fashioned kindergarten teachers who family for them is only the traditional type and who ask the kids to bring (for eg) a picture of their parent's wedding. Luckily most kindergarten teachers do take into consideration the different types of families the children come from, but there are always those stories..]
Bottom line? Don't know what I'd rather. Wish we celebrated both days :-).

* Valentine's has become more and more of a day here, this year with quite exaggeration of it. A hallmark holiday. The thing is we do have our day of love (in the summer), we do not need an extra day, and we do not need to follow the festivities other nations have. I don't really celebrate New Year [though a change in the date is a bit hard to ignore..], I do account for Rosh Ha'shanah, and I don't celebrate Christmas or Easter, etc. These might be great holidays (and reading in blogs about the egg hunt on Easter - seems like a wonderful holiday), but they are not mine.
Sorry about the rant, it just drives me crazy...
But for those of you who are celebrating the day - Happy Valentine's Day!


Lollipop Goldstein said...

It's a really interesting debate--which is better, to make the day completely inclusive (though, what about people without families at all? Or who are estranged from their family?) or to give people their day to shine? We have two separate days a month apart--Mother's Day and Father's Day in the US.

I'm going to Stumble this because I think it deserves a really good debate. Anyone else weigh in?

Paige said...

I love the idea of a Family Day. Having no children of my own (yet)I always wished for an Aunt's Day to celebrate with my nieces. I hope that next year we can both celebrate Family Day, Mother's Day, Donor's Day and any other day we want to!

Naomi said...

Every night I ask my daughter what made her happy today (it used to be three things but she's recently decided we must have ten) and "lovin you," "hugging you" and "kissing you" have made it on the list every night...it's like mother's day every day :)

Hope you had a lovely family day!

rachelbk said...

I like the idea of 'Family Day' personally!
I wish our Mothers/Fathers days could be less commecial, you know, who has all this extra money to buy gifts, flowers, etc for yet another holiday???

Jackie said...

I love the idea of family day...I don't believe we have that in the US. Yes, we have mother's day and father's day, and even grandparent's day.

Families come in all different flavors today, and I love the idea that all kinds of families are celebrated.

I have been struggling with what to call my 'gotcha day'. Some call it gotcha day, some call it adoption day. The more I ponder this, the more I am loving 'Family Day'. After all, that is the special day I formed my very own family.

Thank you :)

Hera said...

Billy - Wow - great conversation you started with this post. So, I love the family idea! I wish we had a "celebrate your family (related or not)" - day in the US. Honestly, my best friend is my sister - so why not celebrate...

Demeter said...

As soon as your daughter tells you :"Mommy, I love you"!, it will not matter if it is Valentine's Day or Mother's Day or any other day. Your heart will melt and you will forget what day it is!
And those days happen very often. Kids express their feelings, without dates!