Sweet Mother ’O Mine…

‘There is none,
In all this cold and hollow world, no fount
Of deep, strong, deathless love, save that within
A mother’s heart.’

Felicia Hemans; Siege of Valencia 1823

Mother’s Day is celebrated internationally at various times of the year; here in South Africa the second Sunday in May gets the nod, along, it must be said, with the bulk of the world. In previous blogs we have delved into the origins of the celebration itself, noting the fact that it is not particularly old as far as traditions are concerned. It was founded in the United States in the early 20th century by Anna Jarvis, and actually had no connection with the many traditional celebrations of motherhood and mothers that have come down to us since the dawn of civilisation. Anna Jarvis wanted to ‘celebrate and honour the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.’

A worthy thought indeed, although Mother’s Day soon became commercialised – as things do in Western Society, particularly the USA – and Jarvis herself was rather taken aback by the turn of events. She believed that the companies exploiting the day had misinterpreted the idea of Mother’s Day and that the emphasis of the holiday should be on sentiment, not profit. As a result, she actually organized boycotts of Mother’s Day, and threatened to issue lawsuits against the companies involved, for which she – the originator of the day – was ultimately arrested. Strange time, that 20th century. A direct result of the fallout saw a conscientious lady called Constance Adelaide Smith advocate for the revival of Mothering Sunday as an equivalent celebration; one that originated in Medieval times and was free of commercial exploitation. It must be said, however, that Mothering Sunday’s remit was far broader and more religious than Mother’s Day, honouring the medieval traditions of celebrating the Mother Church; ‘mothers of earthly homes’; Mary, mother of Jesus; and – delightfully – Mother Nature. It took hold, particularly in the British Isles and English speaking colonies, where it continues to be celebrated as an alternative to Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday in Lent.

When you check the traditional ways that various cultures and countries around the world celebrate Mother’s Day, the South African entry is – how can we put it? – bland. To say the least. ‘In South Africa, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. It is not recognized as a holiday by the government. The tradition is to give cards and gifts and to serve mothers breakfast in bed or to go out to lunch together as a family.’ Yawn. What? No mention of Waterfront Charters Mother’s Day specials? Get a grip, world! South Africans have many, many more ways to make their Moms and Grandmas feel special. Consider this: a Waterfront Charters Prosecco Breakfast Combo – an early morning energising cruise aboard a luxury yacht, followed by a delicious breakfast at Upstairs, the Quay Four gourmet restaurant. Breakfast in bed, Mom? No thank you; old school, passe – cold scrambled eggs on burnt toast and cornflakes? – nope, that just won’t do. Think rather about blueberry pancakes – thick buttermilk pancakes layered with blueberries and maple syrup, served with a side of honey mascarpone. Yum. If Mom is more traditional, she can choose from two other great breakfast options, and you, her loving family, can munch along contentedly with her; after all, she would want to share the moment with you. Not to mention the chilled Prosecco Sparkling Wine…

If breakfast time is too early for Mom, there are always the lunch and evening Cruise and Dine combos to consider as alternatives. Both offer an hour’s worth of relaxed cruising along the stunning Cape coastline and into Table Bay, followed by a superb meal at your choice of three top V&A Waterfront Restaurants. You know what your mother loves to eat: check out the menus on our Cruise and Dine website and make the perfect choice.

Booking online is as easy as clicking on the links in the website, but here’s a reminder: Mothers in general like to be surrounded by their loved ones, so don’t forget to book for all the family. Kids under 18 will have to forego the Prosecco aspect, but our fully stocked refreshment areas on the yachts (and restaurant, of course) will keep them happily hydrated as they sing Mom’s praises.

Finally, if you are completely stymied by all the choices, there is the Waterfront Charters Gift Voucher Option – also easily accessed online and which can be personalised with your own special message to Mom – leaving her to choose the cruise and the time.

Happy Mother’s Day all you wonderful Moms: looking forward to seeing you smiling joyfully aboard one of our luxury yachts this Sunday!