Happy Mother's Day 2016!

A nice picture of my mom and dad years ago when the
grandchildren were young.
Time to move from education to family as I celebrate this Mother's Day.

Before anything else, I wanted to be a mom. I dreamt about it, played house, drew family stories, and took care of little brothers, sisters, cousins, and neighbors from my earliest days. I always wanted to be a mom. Even before I was interest in boys, I made myself get used to the idea that I'd have to get married to a man if I wanted a baby (now I know a lot has changed in that regard in in the 50+ years since I came to that notion), but in the 60's those options weren't as visible.

Anyways, the reality is that I always wanted to be a mom, and I'm ever so grateful that I've had this opportunity in life.

As a mom, three of the four greatest moments in my life were the moments when each of my children were born. How grateful I was for their births and how grateful I am for their lives now. In fact, I find it strange in some ways that I should get a gift on Mother's Day as my children are my most precious gifts.

We enjoyed so many good times in nature. This is a picture
of a mountain hike--probably Mt. Monadnock. 
I'm certainly not a perfect mom by any means. As a mother you bring all of your strengths and your challenges to the job. I've tried to be as honest about that with my children as possible, and I'll often say "____ is a not so good trait I have, but you don't have to carry that on as you can make a different choice or hone a different skill in that regard." I let my children know that they are not me, and have the ability to be whom they desire to be in life.

I ask my children to be good people, to follow their dreams, to contribute to a better world, and to find people that they love to be with. That's my hope for my children.

As a mom, my favorite activity is to plan family vacations. I love to travel with my family to places near and far. We especially love the combination of big city/rural travel, a little of this and a little of that. I also like to go out to dinner with the family to celebrate special events. I find we have our best conversations during those dinners. And, I live vicariously through my children's adventures. I always say, "Our children take us down paths we never thought we'd travel."

A picture of my mom, dad, me, and five siblings about 1970.
I'm conscientious that all of us moms and dads face big challenges when it comes to parents. My wise mom always told me, "Never say never," which means never judge a situation in another home--we can never know what led to one mom's or dad's challenge, and we can never imagine what challenges are yet to knock on our door. It's best if we try to support each other in every way that we can. In fact, I believe that our country can be more supportive and welcoming to families. I think it's very difficult for many to raise a family in America today because supports are lacking. That's one reason why I'd love to have a mom be our next President--mom's and most dad's know that to love and care for a family is a big job, a job that's made easier if our country is forwarding the language, actions, laws, and initiatives that support loving, good families.

My own mom gave us the most important gifts. We had a warm and inviting home, delicious meals, lots of fun and laughter, and presence-she's still full of energy at 86, and still mothering us to be the best that we can be. In many ways she's a better mom to my boys than I am particularly when it comes to her delicious oatmeal cookies, macaroni and cheese, love of laughter and fun, and cheering them on. I'm a more serious mom, so I'm glad they have her influence too.

I wish all the mom's out there a Happy Mother's Day--in a way, the role that moms once played is a role that both moms and dads and perhaps aunts, uncles, and other loving adults play today--I'm so happy to see that change in America today. I'm delighted that families are defined in so many ways with love and care as the constant measure.

Happy Mother's Day! I wish all of the moms out there a wonderful day, and I thank all of those who help us do our job each day as it certainly "takes a village" to be a good mom today.

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