Here's wishing all of the mothers out there a happy Mothers' Day. I called my mom to extend my best wishes. I'm one of five kids, and we are all doing well, so mom must have done something right. Mom made sure to model for us the values she wished to instill in us- there was never a hint of hypocrisy about mom. She gave us a lot of freedom growing up- we never really had a curfew because she believed that a kid who would get in trouble at midnight would have gotten in trouble before 9PM. In the summertime, we would spend all day outside, and she would summon us to a late dinner by ringing a big ship's bell mounted on the kitchen wall. Because she maintained an open door policy in the house, she knew all of our friends, so she knew that we weren't hanging out with assholes. With five kids under the roof, having twenty kids in the house wasn't much of a stretch. To this day, she gets Christmas cards from friends of ours from all over the country.
Mom's one inviolate rule was that we had to keep our grades up, and everything pretty much proceeded from there. She provided us with books, and took us to museums and parks. Even though we often wore hand-me-downs, there was always money for classes and enrichment programs. One of the biggest jokes among my circle of friends concerned the amount of window decals from prestigious institutions of higher learning stuck on the rear window of mom's beat up old station wagon.
Mom's example has continued down the line, and I see my nieces and nephews continuing on in the family tradition regarding scholastic, athletic, and creative endeavors. The standards that she set have been the norm for the succeeding, in all senses of the word, generations. I can confidently state, and I am sure that my siblings would agree, that I wouldn't be the man I am if it weren't for mom's values, mom's standards, mom's example, mom's support, and most of all mom's love. Thanks, ma mère.