Education Blackboard — May 13, 2010

School Beat

A Mother’s Day Dedication

by DOUG HOOGERLAND, Principal
Crestwood Elementary School

There are some pretty demanding careers out there these days, and some of them pay big bucks. They require years of education and special licenses. When we think of some of the most specialized or top-paying jobs, we might consider a CEO of a large company, a neurosurgeon, or a Supreme Court judge. Some of us wouldn’t trade what we do for the difficulty of what they do. But when I think about the most challenging, demanding, and often thankless job out there, it is the unpaid job of a mom caregiver to a child.

Yes, a mom does choose that unpaid role, whether as a biological mom, an adoptive mom, a step-mom, a foster mom, or a care-giving relative. But that certainly doesn’t make it an easy role, and it is often one for which there is little in the way of a direct “thank you.” It is a job that will daily throw obstacles and new experiences at you with the implicit expectation that you moms will know what to do and you will do it. You are responsible for your own training in this area; no one will check up to see if you’ve renewed your “mom” certificate. But, still, you do your best with what you know and what you have.

Moms amaze me every day with what they are innately capable of. I do consider myself a pretty good dad, but it has been pointed out to me (nicely) that I am NOT a good mom. And it’s true. I can roughhouse, tease, joke, go on bike rides, play games and I will usually remember to do whatever I write down in my planner to do. But moms? They remember all of that in addition to things like remembering to feed the kids (before they are beyond starving!), putting on sunscreen (before they burn!), brushing teeth (before noon), clean sheets (regularly!), bed time (before they are too cranky to go to bed!), homework, and all of the other little unpredictables that happen each day. In most cases, who do kids want when they are sick? Who do they go to for a bandage even when there is no blood? Who is able to unconditionally love their child no matter what poor choices their child has made that day? Who advocates to their child’s teacher or principal when they feel their child is being treated unfairly? Who takes them to the doctor, knows their height, weight, favorite color (from day to day)? Moms do.

Moms know the sound of their child’s voice out of hundreds and out of a sound sleep. Moms are the ones with the patience and wisdom to know when to hold and listen to their child without saying a word or trying to fix it for them. Moms make sure children have their school supplies and their lunches.

Moms do what they do with good intentions, with the hope that their child will have all possible advantages. Moms aren’t perfect, and we can all look back as adults on mother figures in our lives who have made mistakes. But I believe that moms do the best they can. Moms are people who, when they feel they have nothing left to give, give to their child anyway.

If you are a mom, a step-mom, a foster mom, adoptive mom, a grammy, or an auntie, thank you. You are the ultimate multitasker. You are the learn-on-the-job expert. You are a powerful and necessary person in the life of your child and in the formation of our next generations. Your payment is not that of a CEO or a surgeon. It is the warm joy of watching your child learn to think for himself. It is the excitement of seeing your child do something for her first time. It is putting your children to bed at night, knowing they are safe and sound and that YOU are responsible for that. Thank you. If no one else thanks you on Mother’s Day, or every day, I want you to do something to thank yourself. You deserve it. Happy Mother’s Day!

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