Being a son, a husband and a father has given me the opportunity to witness the importance of motherhood from a short distance. Even though I may slip into the background when our daughter scrapes her knee or when our son needs to nurse, I'm not one to be selfish of my children's love. I know how incredibly strong the bonds of motherhood form and I must deeply respect and understand those bonds. Throughout the years, I've been the quiet observer, taking it all in as I've witnessed what it truly means to be a MOTHER -- from my own mom, to my aunts, my grandmothers, my sister, and to my wife and her mother.
Role-playing. Even from an early age, I can still distinctly remember all the different roles my mother took on throughout my formative years: how she became the nurse to our winces and cries while taking my sister and I to the doctor to get our shots; how she became our playmate when we set up forts in the living room; how she became my teacher as she taught me how to read before I went into first grade. She became my best friend throughout my high school years, even as those times were some of her most difficult to endure -- having to raise two kids during a divorce and trying to make a living for the first time in her life. Of course, I didn't make the situation any better when I went through my wild & crazy year, 16 years-old and hell-bent on self-destruction. But she endured. She stuck it out and all was not lost. She became the maternal rock and I was firmly supported by her. I desperately needed her, even though I was screaming at her that I did not. Most importantly, during our high school years, she respected me and my sister's privacy, giving us the distance needed to forge our own identities and dreams. I've already adopted her parenting guidelines as my own model: become your children's best friend so they can respect and confide in you, while at the same time be the rock to support them, even when they think they don't need it. Be fun, be strong. Be witty, be stern. Be there.
Thank you, Mom, for being there for me. Happy Mother's Day.