In my many years of teaching and working in a preschool, I have encountered all kinds of children: whiners, clingy ones, strong-willed ones, carefree ones, children who make you laugh, and children who can make you cry. Oh, you name it, I have seen them all.
But just as varied are the mothers that come to school to enroll their precious little ones. And believe me, there has never been a dull moment, when it comes to dealing with a mom! Like a real tigress, a mom can become overly cautious and will protect her young from any threat of danger, at any cost. This is especially true with first time moms. But there is one common feature shared by all the thousands of mommies I have met through CCE, and that is the uncompromising love they have for their children.
How often we have heard of the love of a mother, and the constantly changing role she takes in the journey of her children’s lifetime: first, as the primary link to the outside world and to any emotional bonding and attachment a child will have.
Studies consistently show that the way a mother bonds with her baby in the earliest months and years will leave a deep impact on the child’s overall well-being and development, and will greatly influence the way that child behaves in social and emotional settings, especially in later years.
Secondly, as the first and most important teacher that her child will ever have. A child learns to walk, and talk from his/her mother. A study which looked at 43,000 teenagers and compared their educational paths between 1993 and 2006 revealed that mothers are the strongest role models for their children’s education, particularly their daughters (“The Impact of Parental Income and Education on the Schooling of their Children,”Arnaud Chevalier [Royal Holloway, UC Dublin Geary Institute, and IZA]. Colm Harmon [UC Dublin Geary Institute, CEPR and IZA], Vincent O’Sullivan [University of Warwick], 2010).
As a child grows, a mother becomes a source of infinite knowledge. From her, he/she learns love, compassion, respect, generosity, kindness and principles.
Raising a child is one of the toughest and most challenging tasks with no financial reward attached to it. And yet, she plays a critical role in the development of each and every one of her children. As one mother puts it, “A mother does not raise a child; a mother raises the future.”
We will be celebrating Mother’s Day in a few days, and in honor of all mothers that have come my way, most especially my own mother, the story that follows is dedicated to you: “When God Created Mothers” by Erma Bombeck.
When the good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”
And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?” She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts … all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.”
The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands … no way.”
“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”
“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded.
“One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”
“God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow …”
“I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick … can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger … and can get a nine-year-old to stand under a shower.”
The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.
“But tough!” said God excitedly. “You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.”
“Can it think?”
“Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.
There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.”
“It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.”
“What’s it for?”
“It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”
“You are a genius,“ said the angel.
Somberly, God said, “I didn’t put it there.”