Editorial | House of many mothers

In this issue of the Reporter, we have included stories about women — all mothers who are as different as the lives they have lived. They are nurses, church members who do for others and, yes, musicians. Mothers come in all forms, all fashions, all ages, and perhaps most importantly assume many roles at different times. They are mothers and mentors not just when we are young but as we grow older.

Motherhood goes well beyond giving birth. Just like our bodies, motherhood is not just a constant state but one of continuous change. Mothers are caregivers. They serve others. They adapt to the needs of those around them. As children grow older and need less, mothering branches out to help in the community through work or volunteering. As grandchildren arrive, mothers instinctively reach out again and later to take care of their own parents as they grow older and as spouses, siblings and partners begin to ail.

Most of us know women who became mothers to us at key times in our lives. With understanding and skill, they appear and fill a need with uncanny timing. They are an older sister, the parapro at school, the mother of a best friend, an aunt who collected us for holidays when we were a thousand miles away from home. They are women who are there to comfort, listen and guide.

Most would agree that when you have children, you appreciate your own mother more. Yet there are so many other mothers who have helped my family and, invariably, me at the same time: A day care provider who offered understanding to the new mom; the woman who offered to take the older child home for a break; the neighbor who watches out for the younger ones, a teacher whose warmth made a third-grader feel instantly special at a new school; a neighbor back home who checks in on aging parents.

If we are lucky, we will have many such mothers throughout our lives.

Happy Mother’s Day to all.

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