The dictionary has many definitions for the word, “mother.” It can be a noun or a verb, and the noun is really about just being related to the offspring: a woman in relation to her child or children. The verb is where the “motherly” words get added in: care, protection and affection.
Caring, protecting and affection are definitely three words I can use to describe my late mother. She died in 1988 and not a day goes by that I do not think of her or as a mother think, “What would my mom do?”
Care: my mom always made sure that we came first. She even stopped teaching to make sure she was home every single day when we arrived home from school. We did homework as soon as we got home because she said our brains stopped working after a certain hour. I clearly remember sitting at the kitchen table, working on my own homework and usually helping my brother, John. She cared enough to sit with us every afternoon, even when we were whining and begging to stop doing homework and let us go out and play.
Protection: As parents, this is our number one job to keep our children safe. My mother did this. Even though I do not remember wearing seatbelts while driving in the car or helmets while biking, I do remember her lathering us with sunscreen when we got to the beach every day. She also stood at the shore of the beach each day and made sure she kept us in her sights. One day, I was “playing” lifeguard with a friend and I was pretending to be drowning. She ran into the water and saved me and lost her prescription sunglasses. I felt terrible. I remember her losing the sunglasses but I do not remember her being angry. She was relieved that I was safe.
Affection: I think this is where the old Irish families lacked. Is getting a little hair pull when you answered back considered affection? Or being told you cannot leave the dinner table until you have finished your vegetables, affection? Well, I do know when I was sick, mom was there with me and made sure I had everything I needed. That was her affection.
I often say I cannot believe my mother never told me how difficult being a mom was going to be. It is the hardest job in the world and she made it look so easy.
So, as we head into this Mother’s Day weekend, remember your moms and everything they have done for you or if you are lucky enough, they are still here to help you through life.