Sunday, May 8, 2011


        I was given the most incredible Mother’s Day gift this year....simply being alive to celebrate being a mom for one more year.  

Mother's Day 2011

      For about 6 years, I wrote a monthly column for a regional magazine. In cleaning out file drawers last week, I stumbled across this old column, and want to reprint it here. I wrote it on my second Mother’s Day, 17 years ago. And so, to honor my own mom…..

          This will be my second Mother’s Day as a mom. The occasion has sent me a-pondering about “mother love.” The experiences of these couple of years have taught me that nobody can truly prepare you for the profound feelings of being a mom and loving a child, and I realize now that the best preparation for mothering my son was being mothered by my own mom.
          My mom, Pat Bolger Hieb, was a woman of the ‘40’s and ‘50’s. She was a highly respected professional until her marriage, when she assumed the role of full-time wife and mother. She created a warm and comfortable home and cooked wonderful meals. She was on numerous civic committees.
          As president of a national auxiliary, she took several trips to national meetings, and twice she took me along. Just mom and me. To Chicago and San Francisco. I was only 11 or 12, with beanpole legs and thick, pink, glittery glasses. But Mom introduced me with pride to “important people.” She made me feel so grown up and special.
          Mom did Girl Scouts, choir concerts, school plays. She made almost all my clothes. She baked truck loads of chocolate chip cookies and played chauffeur without complaint. She threw me an incredible surprise party on my 13th birthday. She praised my daily piano practices. She went to home games and watched me cheerlead. Mom encouraged, guided, and listened. She hugged away hurts.
          Mom was eventually caregiver for both my grandmas and did so with love and devotion. She even organized a candy-striper program for our local nursing home.
          As my mom has stepped into her later middle age, she has done so with vigor and beauty and finesse. She continues to give generously of her time and her heart. She is an inspiring role model for how I would like to grow older. And today, as I watch her with my son, I see visions of how she must have mothered me as a baby….and it warms my heart.
          I have spent many Mother’s Days as a daughter, loving and appreciating this woman who gave me life, roots and wings.
           But on this Mother’s Day, I understand my mom in a way I never have before. I’ve always known she was a great mom because of all the things she did with me and for me. I knew she loved me a lot. I knew she hurt when I hurt. I knew she took pride in my achievements. But until now, until I had my Sam, I never really knew how the love and the pride and the hurt felt.
          On this Mother's Day, I realize that the bond that holds our hearts together is not just that we are mother and child, but that we are mother and mother, two women who fiercely love our babies. Even when one baby is near 40.
          I guess it is not until you have your own child that you wholly understand your mom. And not until you have loved a child of your own can you know how much you are loved by her.
My sweet mama

  Happy Mother's Day, Mom!!

1 comment:

Pipsylou said...

This was so fun to read about your mom...she is beautiful, you're right!