Happy Mother’s Day- A Tribute to My Greatest Teacher

In Paris, nearly three decades ago, I was filled with trepidation, anticipating the birth of my child. How could I possibly measure up to the task?  Within the previous year, I lost my career due to a car accident and my baby in a miscarriage. With my confidence shaken, I struggled to rebuild my life one step at time. And to top it off, I would be raising my child abroad in “French” no less.

Would I be patient enough to let my independent two-year-old do everything herself when she embarrassed me by parading around the block with the hood of her spring jacket over her  rump, and shouting, “Me do. Dress myself, Mommy.”

Will I be clever enough to turn a child’s disappointment at her dad’s not coming to dinner into delight by serving supper on a card table in the living room and pretending it is a restaurant?

Will I be creative enough to invent cool games for hot summer afternoons, like painting sidewalks with water, building tents over picnic tables, making lemonade ice cubes?

Will I be perceptive enough to know when my child screams at siblings that something went wrong at school?

Will I be kind enough to make Kool-Aid for the entire neighborhood, to pitch whiffle balls to the kids next door, to volunteer as a bank mom at the grade school?

Will I be tolerant enough to accept the trail of muddy feet from the backdoor to the refrigerator and to answer the phone ringing at all hours?

Will I find time to watch track meets, tennis matches, basketball games, band concerts, and drama performances, to share my child’s interest?

Will I be flexible enough to reheat meals, alter vacation plans, celebrate birthdays early or late, put career plans on hold?

Will I listen closely enough to understand tears as my adolescent struggles to find herself?

Will I be accommodating enough to run out to the store when my child brings unexpected guests home from college?

Will I trust my teenager when she comes home late and my young adult when he picks a mate?

Lenore & Pat

Lenore & Pat

Will I have the faith to sleep when my grown child travels across the continents daring to experience adventures my generation never dreamed of trying?

Will I be wise enough to know that the soundest advice I can offer is by my example?

Will I be smart enough to teach by patience and understanding, not commanding and demanding?

Will I be strong enough to love as unconditionally as my mother loved me?

Will I be as deserving of the honor given on Mother’s Day as she?

Posted in education, inspiration, relationships, social view.

26 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing, Pat. Knowing both you and your wonderful Mother, I can see you both in this moving tribute.

  2. Amen, Barb. I think they were trained from above. Lord knows, my mom had her hands full handling my spunky spirit and your mom had her work cut out for her raising those Carlson boys! teehee

  3. Love your tribute to your Mom.
    I think the greatest honor we can give them is when we take the time to think and reflect and remember. We can now understand the depth of the love given us because we are moms ourselves. We were so fortunate to have moms who were there for us in so many ways. Enjoy your day. You turned out to be a wonderful mom, too!
    love, Amy

    • Oh Amy you are so right. We were blessed with wonderful moms who helped nurture our creative spirits. I was thrilled to see your website and find out about your clever new biz. Wish you could fly to Switzerland to pain the walls of our new primary building. Do you still make those wonderful cartoon character cards with that skinny girl in high tops and a red and white basketball uniform?

  4. My Mother, your Mother…how blessed we were to have wonderful Mothers. While growing up I assumed everyone was so blessed…or more accurately I never really thought about the topic. Didn’t every one have a “Good” Mother ? Adulthood brings reality. Adulthood brings the thankfulness that did not exist in earlier years…”Thank you Mother for being wonderful and loving”.

    Through no action on our parts we got the best of the best. Happy Mother’s Day to all who have loved a child.

    • Yes, Peggy, only in adulthood, raising children of my own, could I fully realize that gift of being raised by a good mom. We have been blessed with great fortune to grow up in the families that we did. Like you say, we were lucky to have gotten the best of the best!

  5. Beautiful!! I think our moms must have been classmates at the Mom School!

    • Amen, Barb. I think they were trained from above. Lord knows, my mom had her hands full handling my spunky spirit and your mom had her work cut out for her raising those Carlson boys! teehee

    • Barb,
      so true! so true! I am blessed to have TWO beautiful moms who are in the TOP of their “class!”

  6. A beautiful and fitting tribute, Pat. Thank you for sharing. My motherinlaw, who you know, is sliding into dementia and it’s hearatbreaking.
    Love … T O P

  7. Happy Mother’s Day Pat. I enjoyed the picture of you and your
    Mom and the beautiful tribute to her. She is a wonderful Mom.
    I’ll be spending the day with my two daughter’s (Melissa & Cindy)
    and my three grandchildren (Justin, Lindsey and Nicole).
    Love,
    Jean

    • Happy Mother’s Day to you too, Jean! You raised two fine daughters and started countless other kids off on the right foot. I am convinced that kindergarten teachers make the BEST moms!

  8. Happy Mother’s Day Pat. I enjoyed the picture of you and your
    Mom and the beautiful tribute to her. She is a wonderful Mom.
    I’ll be spending the day with my two daughter’s (Melissa & Cindy)
    and my three grandchildren (Justin, Lindsey and Nicole).
    Love,
    Jean

  9. What a beautiful, heartfelt tribute to your mother, Pat. You strike a chord as I think of my own precious mother and all she means to me. How blessed we are to come from such gracious women who have guided our way. The cycle of love flows on. Happy Mother’s Day to you and your lovely mother! Blessings~

  10. What a beautiful, heartfelt tribute to your mother, Pat. You strike a chord as I think of my own precious mother and all she means to me. How blessed we are to come from such gracious women who have guided our way. The cycle of love flows on. Happy Mother’s Day to you and your lovely mother! Blessings~

    • Thanks Kathy. Happy Mother’s Day to you too! I think we both were raised by such strong, loving women that we had a little left over to share with the rest of the world through our own work, family and words!

  11. Barb,
    so true! so true! I am blessed to have TWO beautiful moms who are in the TOP of their “class!”

  12. That is a beautiful tribute to your resourceful and delightful mother. If you asked yourself all those questions, I am sure the answers came back, “Yes.” Some day you will receive a tribute that goes straight to the heart, too! Besides that, you will have unexpected thanks from students you would never expect to thank you. I always remember the words of a professor who wrote an inspiring book on the teaching of English. He said, “Happiness is made up of moments, so cherish the good moments of your job.” He probably said it better, but that was certainly the message. I think we have to remember the good moments of the biggest job of all, raising children. And they are remarklyforgiving!!!.

    • Thanks, Dian. And thanks for the encouragement about teaching English…so nice to hear that when we have six weeks left to go and running low on energy and inspiration. I appreciate the reminder to cherish the laughter, the smiles, the essays, the speeches and the day to day triumphs of my students.

  13. That is a beautiful tribute to your resourceful and delightful mother. If you asked yourself all those questions, I am sure the answers came back, “Yes.” Some day you will receive a tribute that goes straight to the heart, too! Besides that, you will have unexpected thanks from students you would never expect to thank you. I always remember the words of a professor who wrote an inspiring book on the teaching of English. He said, “Happiness is made up of moments, so cherish the good moments of your job.” He probably said it better, but that was certainly the message. I think we have to remember the good moments of the biggest job of all, raising children. And they are remarklyforgiving!!!.

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