Before I continue, I should correct myself and state that I live in a M-A-M-A town, since I live in Mexico. However, amongst the expat community, 'Moms' out number the 'Mums' by... let me take a guess at 100 to one.
My two older children go to a bilingual school. They study things five-year-olds anywhere study, though their day is split, two hours in English and two hours in Spanish. They do not get taught in "English-English", it's "American-English", we are in the Americas after all. Since they started at school, unlike my days in primary school in London, they have been given homework. They started pre-escolar at three-and-a-half, and in their little hands they carried their exercise books with little bilingual tasks to complete. Cut and paste pictures of three food items into the books. Draw around the oval three times. Color the apple in red. Yes, 'color'. So, I just bring attention to the fact that 'color' when spelt in "English-English" is spelt with the addition of a 'u'.
Should this absence of a letter irritate me? No, and perhaps "irritate" is too strong a word, but the pedant in me can't help myself. My twin boys, at the tender age of three, didn't really need to know the complexities of this global language. In fact, seeing 'colour' spelt 'color' might make more sense at this stage of becoming bilingual, as 'colour' spelt in Spanish is 'color'.
However, my cuties coming home with a happy, colourful (wink) drawing of their 'Mommy' does irk me a tad. You see, 'Mum' is one of those words which means so much more than its spelling. It's a gifting of a title to those who labour with love. It's a title that makes me think about my own mother, and in owning it, a deeper understanding of generational experiences has developed. Throughout my life, that title has been spelt with a 'u'. It's the name my children call me by. They call me 'Mum', and you would correct people if they spelt your name wrong, wouldn't you? So I do, and request to each teacher that they are taught to spell my name with a 'u'.
Mother's Day in Mexico, is always celebrated on the 10 May, be it a Sunday or a Wednesday. The expat moms with roots north of the border will celebrate on the second Sunday of May. Mother's Day in the UK always fall on the third Sunday before Easter. It's been just a couple of years since I discovered the origins of Mothering Sunday, and it's quite beautiful.
Centuries ago, people returned to the church at which they were baptised, their 'mother church'. Later, Mothering Sunday was a day domestic servants were given off so that they may visit their mother church, which most often was in the town or village where their own mother lived. Together, as a family, they would visit the church and the young children of the families picked wild flowers on their way as an offering to the church.
So, as a multitude of Mexicans are being baptised this Mothering Sunday, and the moms wait until May, I will be one of the few who will be giving a thought (and a call) to my Mum, think back to Mother's Days past and hope that my husband will remember that I am a M-U-M, and would like to celebrate accordingly.
Happy Mother's Day, Mums!