Dear Readers: How much do mothers matter? Worlds. To all mothers, stepmothers, and female caregivers, Happy Mother’s Day! — Love, Lauren
Ryann, 17, Tustin: My mom sets an example with continuous self-sacrifice and determination to make my and my brothers’ lives as full as possible. She raised us to know family is the most important thing. She doesn’t baby or pamper us, which has taught me independence and self-sufficiency. She’s realistic regarding spending and frivolity, thus I’ve learned the value of money and hard work. Many might criticize her for not indulging us, but I can think of nothing more selfless.
Ochatre, 24, Kampala, Uganda: In lower school, I was consistently last in class causing my relatives to advise me to at least try and be second last. My mother took it upon herself to guide me in my homework so when I took it back for marking, my teacher would use me as an example of someone who had passed. This made me believe I could learn, which inspired me to work harder. When I left that class, I was among the top 20. At final exams, I passed as one of the best in the country — receiving merit scholarship into one of Uganda’s top high schools. My mother’s best gift, apart from giving birth to me, was making me believe in myself.
Moriah, 17, Rutland, Vt.: My mom is supportive of everything I do without forcing anything on me. She never doubts my choices, but supports me in fixing mistakes when needed.
Taylor, 17, Santa Rosa: My mom is amazing. She got divorced when I was nine and raised my brother and me. My childhood is filled with happy memories of summer projects making fairy houses and sand volcanoes. Science experiments and baking fiascos filled my time. One favorite thing was setting up two bowls in the kitchen for ideas. Every time we got bored we’d draw an idea from the bowl. One bowl was for small things like fort-building or baking cookies, the other for bigger ideas like a beach day or spontaneous camping trip. No matter what was going on or how much money we had, she put my brother and me first, managed to provide, and made everything really fun. I love the little things she does, like opening the garage door for me before I get home, or leaving roses by my bed. She is a wonderful person and role model displaying strength, bravery and self respect through difficult times.
Lennon, 27, Los Angeles: I was the oldest of three boys in a row, followed by my sister. The best things my mom did: 1) Raised us without TV — and no computer until high school. 2) Let us play outside unsupervised without freaking out. Her trust in us fostered respect. 3) Insisted on a healthy diet and family dinners. 4) Never did my homework for me, but helped flesh out ideas or formulas.
Collin, 16, San Diego: My mother always makes me feel like it’s okay to be who I am, but she also pushes me to be better. When I feel I’m not good enough, she reminds me that she loves me and when I need help with a problem, she’s there with advice.
Matt, 19, Mission Viejo: My mom did her best to make me an independent man, and she succeeded. She taught me to be assertive, a leader, and respectful of others even if they weren’t respectful of me. She let me make my own choices, but warned me when something was about to go wrong (and some things she absolutely didn’t allow). She gave me unconditional love, yelled only when I really needed it, and welcomed my friends.
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