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Just one day for mothers?

One special day may be enough for Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day or even Independence Day, but relegating just one day to celebrate mothers seems a real disservice.

One day to honor those who give us life, then show us how to make it worth living? It seems a slight. Single moms? Good ones are the marvel of the world. They deserve at least a week.

Most of us think of our moms as superwomen, and we’re right. I know my mom was, and she remains so today at a very youthful age 86. Encapsulating the essence of my mom in a short (or even long) column is impossible. She’s exactly like a lot of mothers of her generation, and wonderfully unique at the same time.

In contrast to this era when one can’t seem to visit a grocery store without hearing some woman bellowing at her kids, my mom rarely raised her voice. If she did, it was simply to be heard over the din,. or in a frantic effort to keep a child from inflicting permanent injury. She ruled the house with a smile and positive energy — with an emphasis on energy.

In the big picture, my mom’s motherhood story — like those of countless other Baby Boom moms — covered some volatile, society-shaking times. She raised eight kids, starting in the late 1940s while her youngest (me) didn’t leave home until the early 1980s. Her child-raising deftly spanned generations, from the time Pat Boone was on the radio and Davy Crockett on the TV, to the Beatles and Ed Sullivan, to Van Halen concerts and HBO on cable. Quality mothering faced a moving, changing target during that span of time. She was always up for the task.

Little picture, it’s thousands and thousands of wonderfully typical days, unique for each of her kids. For me, a summer day camping at Suttle Lake; the road trip in the camper to Oklahoma; her cooking me Creme of Wheat on a cold winter morning; her letting me drive on the old Culver Highway coming back from Bend when I was 14; her tears as I drove away for college.

It was an emotional day, the day I left for college. After 34 years, all her kids had finally grown, were gone from her house. But what she didn’t realize then is that none of her kids ever really left. Kids don’t leave moms like that.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, to my wife and daughter’s mom, and all you wonderful mothers out there.

- Tony Ahern




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