Archive for Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A tribute to all dedicated Moms

May 9, 2007

Spring is absolutely my favorite season of the year. As an avid gardener, I wait all year for the new growing season. It is so exciting to see plants and flowers begin to make their debut for another year.

But this spring didn't start like any other in recent memory. Oh, at first it did. The two huge pear trees in my front yard exploded with their annual white display, the bushes budded and the iris leaves grew, just as I expected.

But, then, the awful cold snap. Before the weather changed, a dove built a nest in our redbud tree in the backyard. Since there was little foliage on the tree, we watched her sit, every evening, tending to her eggs.

One of those unexpected cold nights, the wind was blowing and the snow was flying. My husband and I looked out the window in sympathy. That's when he asked the most mind-boggling question.

"Do you suppose that bird will abandon her eggs?"

I was shocked at the mere suggestion.

"She would die before she would abandon her babies!" I said with certainty.

The fact that he even considered that possibility reminded me of the many conversations he and I had shared over the typical difference between mothers and fathers. Maybe the difference is the physical connection between the mother and the baby during pregnancy.

I have a 15-year-old boy. Let's just say it has been an interesting year. I'm surprised I have hair left from pulling so much out.

You might say he's a free spirit, not so intense like his mother. That which I admire about him drives me crazy! There are characteristics about my son that I would like to have in myself.

For example, I wish that it wouldn't bother me that I couldn't see my bedroom floor because a week's worth of clothes covered it. I wish I could sit down and get lost in "You Tube" and forget about all of my housework.

But I had my time and now it is his turn. Soon enough he will have adult responsibilities -- and, unfortunately, a driver's license. My worries are just getting started!

In most cases, but definitely not all, it is the mother who is the more nurturing, more coddling and most worried parent of the two. Typically, the mother worries and frets over whether or not her child is OK, in pain, having a bad day, how a test is going, etc.

Mom knows how high the fever was in the night, the date of the Valentine's party and the minimum score necessary on the final exam to achieve an acceptable grade in Algebra. When their child falls down and starts bleeding, Mom runs with the Kleenex and Band-Aids and Dad says "Get up and shake it off!"

Sometimes, I think our skill at protecting and nurturing our children actually gets in the way of realizing what our children are capable of. I know that my worry about my son getting hurt has caused me to err on the side of caution more than once.

The career of motherhood has long hours, long days and lasts a lifetime (just ask MY mom!) There is no other career where it would even be legal to put in that kind of time. It is the most demanding, time-consuming and life-changing event that can ever occur in a women's life. But, the rewards are great and well worth the effort. Any accomplishments I have achieved in life pale in comparison to the joy and pride I feel when my son accomplishes something. And, when I am worried about my son, everything else takes a back seat. But, I wouldn't trade any of it for anything. I have learned as much from him as he has learned from me.

This weekend, we get a chance to honor all those hard working, tireless and dedicated mothers. Where would we be without you? Thank you for all you do!

-- Kathy Lafferty is the Leavenworth and Wyandotte County advertising manager for The World Company.

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