Celebrating Nurturer Days

NurturerDays include Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Grandparents’ Day. Degendering caregiver holidays can be freeing for everyone because in any modern population, there are many family configurations and many genders. Degendering these holidays can create a more inclusive environment and language without losing meaning. In fact, to deepen their meaning, a family or community can focus on the verb forms of mother and father: Mothering & Fathering. What is at the HEART of mothering? What is at the HEART of fathering? What is at the HEART of grandparenting?

We all have something to learn and celebrate in these questions, in finding the archetype within ourselves and in honoring the ways those archetypes have played themselves out in our becoming. From here, we can honor the fostering of lives we have graced and the fostering that has helped us grow. Hidden harms and traumas can be elicited by these reflections since it is not always from those who are prescribed these roles that we experience them. The verb form universalizes the way in which all humans need help to grow up and help one another to do so.

At the heart of mothering, one might find the act of nurture and care. At the heart of fathering, one might find protection and stewardship. Grandparenting might give a nod to grace and wisdom, to the cross-generational wink of good wishes in a changing world. These are archetypal visions, beyond gender, that all humans need in their upbringing. Each can be celebrated, not for achievement but for the interdependent effort of human survival. You may bring new light to the traditions of these days through verbing them.

Try creating a neighborhood NURTURE FESTIVAL in the blossoming of spring, when we can see the mutuality of care that makes the world healthy and loving. All beings need mothering, and it comes to each in myriad ways and forms. Nurture is the deep value underlying this season’s potential and life’s healing. In a NURTURE FESTIVAL vision, the valued verb of nurturing guides and leads. We can reflect on nurturing in order to expand it as a value in our intentions as we move forth. Ask yourself:

How are we nurturing ourselves?
How are we welcoming the nurture of others?
How can we nurture our nurturers?
How can we create that full cycle of care?
How are we nurturing our Earth, Nature?

How are we protecting each other and ourselves?
How are we welcoming the protection of others?
How can we protect our protectors?
How can we create that full cycle of care?
How are we protecting our Earth, Nature?

To understand Mother’s Day on the level of DEED, it helps to look to the origin of American Mother’s Day as a call for peace, officially recognized in 1914. Think about your own connection to creating peace and nurturing humanity. For more on the history and practices of Mother’s Day, see https://ethical.nyc/wow-mom.

Building upon Mother’s Day, Father’s Day was initially developed to honor the many fathers who died in a mining accident in West Virginia and abroad in wars. It wasn’t officially recognized until 1972, largely because many men felt that a special day to exalt fatherhood was a silly idea, when it was mothers who were underappreciated. Learn more about the history of Father’s Day here https://www.almanac.com/forgotten-history-fathers-day.