Where would we be without mothers? Well, obviously, we wouldn’t even “be,” much less be someplace. Therefore, mothers are necessary, and for more reasons than you can count on all your fingers and toes. Or calculator.

Mothers are those special ladies who win your heart from the day you are born. They hold you and nurse you, enveloping you in their unconditional love. You are their world.

Mothers respond to their newborn, knowing they are helpless creatures. This automatically nominates them to be the one changing your messy diapers, powdering your bottom, bathing you and enduring you upchucking strained peas down their back as you get burped.

Mothers love to dress up their children and show them off in church and at the grocery store. As little ones, they’d sing songs to us that their mothers sang to them, read to us, tuck us in and protect us from scary things that go bump in the night. And they’d bring us a drink of water in the middle of the night after a bad dream.

Mothers took us to school the first day. And when we were reluctant to let go of their hand, told us that we’ll like the other children, including that teacher who seemed very strange and tall to us. We didn’t figure it out until later, but they didn’t want to turn loose of our hands either, and probably cried too, when they were out of our sight.

Mothers today can still do magic. With a quick smile and their amazing imaginations, they can make Halloween and Christmas play costumes from just about any old thing laying around the house. They have superpowers too, being able to make a scraped knee feel better with a kiss and replace a doll’s leg or head that accidentally pops off. They can kill big ugly spiders that invade your bedroom as well, and let’s not forget about them having eyes in the backs of their heads.

Mothers can cook the best meals, even better than grandmothers. They may even let you help them with the cooking, stuff like getting you to lick the frosting off the beaters of the mixer when making cakes. And they turn the refrigerator door into an art gallery just for you, to show off homemade cards and finger paintings you’ve done. They don’t even mind when you color outside the lines either.

Mothers drive you wherever you need to go, including to piano lessons that you enjoy about as much as when she takes you to the dentist, and to little league practice and birthday parties for your friends. They have a good sense of direction, unlike some dads, and even stop to ask for directions if necessary.

Mothers like Mother’s Day presents and cards, whether store-bought or handmade, and often keep them long after you’ve forgotten what you even gave them. They also like it when you help out with the chores and when you get along well with your brothers and sisters. And once in awhile, they’ll let you keep a dog or cat that has followed you home.

Mothers put on brave smiles when the time comes for you to go out on that first date or when they attend your high school graduation. They are very happy and proud for you, and wondering how you grew up so fast, probably attributed to the fact that they were so busy being “mom” that they didn’t have time to notice. Weddings can make them cry pretty easily, but that’s OK. It’s another time when they are letting go of your hand so you can step across the next threshold of your life.

Just as mothers sometimes don’t notice us growing up, we often don’t notice them growing older. The gray hair sneaks in a strand at a time, and a wrinkle or two finds its way to their sweet face. I’ve been told that wrinkles come from where the smiles were, and I like the thought of that.

Mothers check their mailboxes regularly, separating the junk mail from the bills, just like they did when you were little. When they find a letter or card from you, it makes them smile even before they open it. When the phone rings, they’re hoping that it’s you, rather than one of those pesky solicitors. Your voice will always be sweet music to their ears.

Mothers like to be remembered year-round, not just on Mother’s Day. They have lots of stories to tell and generally love doing so. Often, they get a sweet expression on their face when recounting the day you were born, and don’t mind telling it again and again.

That’s the thing with mothers; they can be so consistent. They still remember and know how to cook your favorite meal, still care about you and cry over you, and might even still let you lick their cake frosting spoon. They still hold firmly to your hand and don’t like it when they have to let go of it.

That’s because you’re still their world. God bless mothers, this Mother’s Day ... and always.

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