Reflections on Mother’s Day


With mother’s day around the corner, today I’m reflecting on some people in my life to whom I owe much.

First, my own mother, that industrious and creative Norwegian woman who lived life large and always let us know that family was first. She was what Martha Stewart would be without a staff. Her home, table and yard were her palette and she wove a lifetime of beauty and memories from everyday moments, recognizing that a pretty dish on a table wasn’t about pretentiousness but about caring. To this day she rarely serves from a kettle, because a pretty table is a welcoming table, and it’s worth the effort. Her garden is a reflection of her—colorful, immaculate, varied and magical. Mother loved creating a home but was also a beloved grade-school teacher who never met a kid she didn’t see promise in. As a teen I couldn’t share her perspective, but today it swells in me as well, inspiring me to love all kinds of kids in ways I never imagined. My mother worked ridiculously hard—sewing, canning, cooking, going to school, working full time—and our family was the richer for it. And today, in retirement, she redefines the word by her tireless devotion to the comforts and caring of her family and community.

Secondly, my sons who welcomed me to the world of motherhood. When I held my first born son I had the same doubts every mother has: how can I possibly live up to this thing called motherhood? And how on earth can I love someone I’ve only known for hours this much? My sons introduced me to the remarkable world of boys and men in ways I could never have known without them. I now stand in the shade of their 6-foot-plus frames and marvel at the men they’ve become—as my friend says, both because of me and in spite of me.

And so today we celebrate the gifts of motherhood that we receive from our mothers, sisters, aunts and girlfriends—and all of the women in our lives who have made our lives richer. We wish you a Mother’s Day weekend filled with all the things you love most.