When I think of my mother, many ideas come to mind:

Warm smiles. Extreme compassion. Stern disciplinarian. Intellectual paragon.

Spaghetti and meatballs with parmesan cheese. Extra parmesan cheese. Maybe a little more parmesan cheese.

Cream of wheat, with bread and Carnation milk, because that’s the right way to eat it and you’re wrong if you don’t eat it that way.

Eating cassava leaf and rice with those place mats of the map of Africa, and learning early on just how big the world really is.

I’m often thrown back to being that goofy kid in Massachusetts, dancing to Michael Jackson in the living room with her and my sister before watching Batman and DragonBall Z on Cartoon Network. Twenty years later, and the only thing that’s really changed is that I watch those online instead of on Cartoon Network.

Mothers are our fiercest champions
And our harshest critics
They mold us like clay
Into who we are today
Without our mothers
It’s difficult to find our way
They form our moral compass

The wind beneath our wings
The source of our inner strength
Mothers are always there for us
Even when we don’t realize it
Even when they don’t realize it
They help us carry on through the game of life
Unconditionally

Happy Mother’s Day

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