05/07/05 — Today we reflect on one of life’s toughest jobs

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Today we reflect on one of life’s toughest jobs

During the week, there is plenty of time to talk about politics, bad decisions and every other newsy sort of issue that touches writers’ and readers’ “can you believe they did that” buttons.

But today is Mother’s Day. So, rather than belabor an issue, let’s talk about why this is a day during which we should stop and think about families, futures and promises.

Being a mother is more than simply bringing a child into the world. You are required — under a forever contract — to be an inspiration, a guidepost, sometimes a nag, and often that little extra nudge that guides a child into adulthood.

You wipe away tears, kiss skinned knees and hold hands when they are small.
You teach life lessons to rolled eyes and heavy sighs when they are teens, and hold your breath and your tongue as you put them in a car for the first time.

You pretend not to worry when you send them off to college, although you might be tempted at the last minute to lock them back into the car. And you try not to answer the phone too quickly when they call from the dorm.

Then, one day, all of a sudden, they, and you, grow up. It is then that you find that all the heartache, all the worrying, all the patience were worth it. Your little boy or girl is now suddenly a man or a woman.

And, it is then that your new adult realizes what seemed so silly all those many teen-aged years ago — maybe mom wasn’t so dumb after all.

That is when you smile.

Mother’s Day is important not because of the gifts or attention mothers get. It matters because it reminds us that we have lost some of our perspective on what it takes to be a mother or a father.

Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs there is — and the one for which there are the least qualifications required. Perhaps we need to think a little more about what kind of job descriptions and training should be required to earn — and keep — the title “mom.”

That little change in attitude could go a long way toward making a difference in the lives of thousands of children each year across the country.

So, hug your mom and thank her for what she has given you. You will see your success reflected in her eyes and her heart.

Published in Editorials on May 7, 2005 11:47 PM