I started writing thank you notes this morning, to some of the amazing moms that I know. And then it occurred to me that I would never finish the job in time for Mother’s Day….the job of personally recognizing all of the stellar moms that I know.
First there’s the mom from our church who went to Africa a number of years ago and decided to do something about the children she met there. She started a charity to educate the orphans there. Sure. That’s on every mom’s list: do laundry, get groceries, build schools in Uganda. She’s amazing. I don’t even know her very well, but she’s always friendly, and her hair is never even the least bit messy. Mine would totally be if I were in her shoes.
Then there’s the uber runner mom. I remember her sitting at soccer games with her younger son, trying to struggle through his homework with every spare minute in her arsenal. Not while he was playing soccer, but while his older brother played. Since then, her younger son has been diagnosed with autism. And she has used that as a platform to educate the rest of us through her wonderful stories. She has worked on raising awareness and funds and changing laws that needed to be changed. She’s done much of that by running and writing and enduring. Every day.
Then there’s the beautiful mom I know who is using every last shred of sanity and kindness to get her wayward son back on the right path. Even though I’ve never been a young man, I can tell you that the teenage years are so hard. They have to figure out who they are and how to fit in, what’s right and wrong, fair and unfair, kind and cruel and who they will be among all of those scales of variation. All of this while still being themselves. Behind every great young man stands a few mistakes and a patient, tired mother.
I’ll tell you about the neighbor mom that lives right next door. She always has a big smile and a warm hug for my son, even though she has a couple of her own to contend with. I love watching her shoot hoops with the boys, trash talking right along with them.
I also know a mom who is just a career powerhouse. I’ve watched her survive a divorce, single motherhood, a career change, a long distance relationship and 8 million details without even breaking a sweat.
In my own career, I’ve met moms who are the leaders in our industry. They are the moms who have moved so many times that they know to keep a few things out of the packed boxes: toilet paper and a pan and spatula to make grilled cheese sandwiches. They juggle conference calls and recitals, sheep shearing and basketball practice and they lead national organizations, as volunteers, of course.
The work of a mom just seems different these days, as the world has changed so rapidly. And yet, at the core, the job is virtually the same. We seek to love our kids unconditionally. We want the world to be a better place for them, even as evil lurks around the next corner. And we want them to grow up into capable, productive adults.
So all of you moms….sit down and take a well-deserved rest. You’ve got about three minutes until the next crisis.