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A hope note

Someone said that a mother’s work is to give her children two things ‘ roots and wings. My mother succeeded in giving me both, and that has made all the difference.
As far back as I can remember, resting on my mother’s dressing table was an 8 x 10 black-and-white baby picture of me in a diaper. In the upper left corner of the frame was a little poem my mother had torn out of a magazine and tucked there. It surprised me to realize one day, after I was grown, that I had walked by that picture and poem so many times that I knew the poem by memory. After I became a father, I had it put on needlepoint so our sons would walk by it every day as they grew up in our house.
‘Nobody knows what a boy is worth, a boy at his work or play; a boy who whistles around the house, or laughs in an artless way. Nobody knows what a boy is worth, and the world must wait and see. For every man in an honored place is a boy that used to be.’
As corny as Kansas in August, true. But I grew up never doubting that my mother’s undying love and blessing went with me.
Blessed are mothers who understand that rearing children is different from raising pets. We foster our pets’ dependency on us. We don’t want them to grow up and leave home. We don’t want them to have a mind of their own.
Blessed are mothers who aspire to rear kids who can stand on their own two feet; mothers who understand that their role ultimately is not for leaning, but to make leaning unnecessary.
Thank you, mother. Happy 86th birthday. And happy Mother’s Day.