Opinion

A tribute to mothers

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A few years ago, I noticed that one member of the Hearst family wrote a column every Father's Day about the big guy, William Randolph Hearst. I thought the column gave some personal insight to a very important family in the newspaper business, far more important than the McKiernan family. Even though it isn't Father's Day, and not that my dad - just like everyone else's - doesn't deserve some praise, another special person is likely on all of our minds as we head into this weekend: Mom.

This may sound a bit sappy but there are a lot of adjectives to describe moms. Many instances of her presence come to mind as we think back. Little things that didn't seem so important then were indications of her pride in her children, such as having them neatly dressed for that first day of school and making sure there were lots of pictures to remember it by - and in my case, with my kindergarten sweetheart, Patty. Or sometimes it was making sure we had sandwiches as we headed out on that first fishing adventure to Kimball Creek.

As we got older, it was getting us to and from practice and games, whether it was church-league basketball, junior football or Little League baseball. As a kid, you don't really notice the frantic look on your mom's face as she hastily drives. You might only remember a bark if you weren't ready when she was ready to go. But we always made it on time, and always with the right gear.

In comparison, nowadays we are usually missing a glove, or a shoe, or hat; rarely do we have it all.

Then we move to the teen-age years and the real test of parent-child relations. Late nights on weekends were a likely cause for concern. I'm sure they caused a loss of sleep, nervousness, questions and a bit of irritability. At the time the concern and questions seemed more like punishment, but with time, as is usually the case, it was a clear indication of love. Into high school the test continues, often causing long lapses in any communication, but time heals all.

Finally, we grow into adulthood and witness possibly the best chapters of the mother-son relationship. A warm meal is always available, especially when funds are a bit low. Laundry services are also available, which makes a person wonder how someone can get so much pleasure out of washing clothes.

But the best part to date is the doting grandparent. When we need a baby-sitter for peace of mind, she is always there. When the kids have a school project, she is the first to find the correct supplies. When it's someone's birthday, she is the first to call. When someone is hurt, she is the first to visit, and when someone gets a good grade, she is the first to give them praise.

In my case, that person is Avon. Our relationship, as is typical, has had its ups and downs. But as I grow older, my level of respect for the person that gave me life is at an all-time high. The protective net that she once put around me to shield me from some of life's harshness slowly seems to be reversing. I tend to try and serve as a buffer for her, easing some of the little things that she really doesn't need to worry about. For some reason, we slowly want to move her into the protected mode, and make things easier.

Of course, many times that plan backfires because we also find out that parents can be pretty darn independent.

If you have the chance, remind that special person how important they are to you. Hey, Avon, all I can say is, happy Mother's Day.

Well, OK, maybe there's something else I can say: Are you going to eat that leftover meatloaf in the fridge?

Jim McKiernan

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