A belated Happy Mother’s Day to all those answering to the job description of “mom.” Of course, the list of expectations flexes daily depending upon circumstances. I’m sure all who serve in that capacity would agree that there’s nothing a mom wouldn’t attempt to do if the need arose. And if mom can’t do it, she’ll still make sure it’s done, by hiring out.
My call to motherhood came late. Sixteen years into marriage, I finally joined my three sisters and 16 sisters-in-law in a sorority from which, up until then, I’d been excluded. In fact, I was so clueless, I went to my doctor complaining of flu-like symptoms. I don’t know why he thought to run a pregnancy test first. When he phoned with the results he asked if I was sitting down.
That’s the last time I got to sit down on the job. Thirty-one years later, I’m no closer to retiring from the best position for which I’ve ever been hired.
The most rewarding accolades I could ever receive are from those I hold most dear, my husband, daughter and new son-in-law. Along with a beautiful bouquet of pink roses and white hydrangeas, daisies, stock and lilies were, in part, the following words in a note from my daughter and her husband: “We’re so grateful for everything you’ve done for us and continue to do. You’re an amazing mom and woman! We love you!”
In a Mother’s Day card from my hubby of 47 years, he wrote, “Your daughter is the living example of how a child develops with a great mom.” What makes these words especially poignant is that I survived a childhood with a mother who struggled with her own demons. She raised nine of us the best way she could after my father died. I never knew him; he died when I was 1.
We often forget that moms, and dads, were once children themselves. We are the end results of parenting, good, so-so and not-so-good. To be fair to our parents, we have to remember that they were also the products of others’ parenting. Add to that generational, cultural and societal aspects relevant to when we are born, and we must admit it’s difficult to blame parents for the whole of our lives.
There are so many good folks to whom we can turn as good, even great, role models. I was extremely fortunate in that regard. Growing up without a dad meant I looked to men who filled the bill: the family doctor, my best friend’s father and my father-in-law. They treated me the way I’d want to have been treated by my dad had he lived.
I know from experience that we can never have too many folks rooting for us. That’s why my heart fills to overflowing when other moms tell me they love my daughter. Knowing that she will be sustained by their love when I die is the ultimate gift. God bless all moms.
Millie Vierra lives in Issaquah.