Sara McManamy-Johnson's Column: A daughter ponders moms

A mother gives birth; a mom takes that screaming infant and somehow molds it into a good and moderately productive adult. Moms don’t get nearly enough credit or honor – sure, they have Mothers’ Day, but one day out of the year is a pretty paltry sum for those other 364 da...
May 9, 2013
 Photo: Submitted to The Democrat

Sandy Barber, Sara McManamy-Johnson's mom, poses with her other baby, Schnozz. 

A mother gives birth; a mom takes that screaming infant and somehow molds it into a good and moderately productive adult.

Moms don’t get nearly enough credit or honor – sure, they have Mothers’ Day, but one day out of the year is a pretty paltry sum for those other 364 days, times X.

Pregnancy, sleep deprivation, nursing, diapers, potty training, squalling, inopportune public comments – i.e., humiliation, terrible twos, teenage angst, boyfriends or girlfriends and the list goes on.

Really? Just one day?

As I write this, I’m ready to nominate my mom for sainthood.

My mom will be the first to tell you that you don’t stop being a mom when your kids turn 18. I know I’ve given my mom at least a few gray hairs since I became an adult. But she doesn’t begrudge that – at least, I hope not. I’ve seen my mom go without so my brother’s and my needs were met, and this was after we became adults.

As far as moms go, I think I hit the jackpot.

But I don’t tell her this nearly as much as I should, and sometimes I fear I take her for granted.

She’s always in my corner, giving me the “atta-girl” when I need it or the kick in the rear when I need it, and I let myself believe she always will be.

A few years ago, my husband lost his mom, and while I won’t let myself imagine the day my mom won’t be there, seeing my husband’s loss made my mom that much more precious to me.

Although we live several hundred miles apart, you can almost set your clock by our daily telephone conversations. And she knows if she misses my call, she’d better call me back quick, or I’ll be taking an impromptu road trip.

Just like I know if I miss her call, I’d better call her back quick too – I’ve had cops show up on my doorstep when she couldn’t reach me for a couple days.

My mom is my teacher, my confidante, my best friend and my mentor. She’s taught me forgiveness; she’s taught me to take a stand for what I believe in; she’s taught me compassion; she’s taught me love; she’s taught me how to be a good human being; she’s taught me how to be a mom.

And although I have no children right now, I hope that when I do, I can be at least half the mom I am blessed to have.

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