It’s time to celebrate moms of all kinds

May 1, 2022

Soon we shall celebrate another Hallmark card annual event, Mother’s Day or even Mothers’ Day. Regardless of the manner in which we present this occasion, at the core of the commemoration is the world’s most important person – a mom.

Moms come is all shapes and sizes, colors and ethnicities, humankind and animal kind. Whatever the form, the genus is the same. She is the reason for the existence of another living thing. Note I said reason, not cause. Now that we have established what is the commonality of all whom we term mothers, let us examine them in terms of what happens after the beautiful event of the birth of the other party. What began as two results as two. It takes two to make one, but that one offspring must be cared for, at least initially, by another. Let us leave for Saturday morning television the care and feeding of the young from the animal world, and focus on the human species reared and nurtured by the amazingly talented and loving person we call mom, mommy, mother, ma, mama.

To use the term “labor intensive” would be an understatement when it comes to what most moms do, from the birth of their child(ren) until, let’s say, the first day of kindergarten. Yes, many of the chores are sometimes shared by the other parenting partner, but primarily it is the female parent who is changing the diapers during the day, and doing the feeding at night, with the reverse also being the reality. Every day, every night, for days and nights, and months and months, mom is there with both the talcum powder and the milk. Eventually, enter the spoon, the sippy cup, the highchair. Then there is crawling, first steps, and ah yes, more diapers and quite a bit of laundry. We shall pass over in silence a possible second child who may have arrived during these first years of numero uno.

As our dear mom moves into the elementary and middle school years with her child(ren), we may need to take a bit of a departure due to socioeconomics. The role is still that wonderful and beautiful mom, but depending on fiscal realities, she is doing different things. In our suburbs, mom is the van/SUV driver picking up the young athletes and dancers from a myriad of events (usually soccer or ballet) on an almost daily basis. Across the pond, as it were, other great moms may be engaged in working a second job to ensure a timely rent payment, or to buy that certain birthday present. They are mothers, nonetheless, making sacrifices of a different nature. Around town, we may be more familiar with the chauffeuring female as she juggles one event with another, attempting not to be late for that next practice. It appears that from 3 to 6 p.m. “during the season,” mom is driving a motor vehicle on behalf of someone else, someone younger, someone dependent upon her for so many reasons. Space limitations force me to stop the narrative at the early teen years, as a child makes inquiry from this very special lady as to the whereabouts of his/her game shorts and shoes. Motherhood certainly does not end here, by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, there are at least three more phases of this special relationship for us to share. For now though, we shall leave it at the soccer field.

In week or so, we shall be reminded by a greeting card company that it is time once again to express our thanks to that extremely important human being in all our lives, wherever she may be. This Mother’s Day may be more significant than some of the others. Regardless of age, hers or ours, I believe we want to hug and kiss her in a very loving manner this May. Mothers do and have done so much for us, their children, and all of us were one of those at some point in time, and always shall be as a biological phenomenon. There may or may not have been sporting events or dance recitals; we certainly cannot recollect the clean and dry diaper, or even the congratulatory hug at graduation. However, it may be a telephone conversation, or a walk in the state park, or a hand held at bedside at Beebe, or a coffee and pastry at Panera. There are many memories of mom, I am sure, and I implore all of us to conjure up at least one at the time of our annual Hallmark moment where we say, “Happy Mother’s Day; I love you, Mom.”

  • Peter E. Carter is a former public school administrator who has served communities in three states as a principal, and district and county superintendent, for 35-plus years. He is a board member for Delaware Botanic Gardens and Cape Henlopen Educational Foundation, and the author of a dual autobiography, “A Black First…the Blackness Continues.”

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