There are 365 days in a year and we set aside just one of them to thank mothers. Being one of four kids and being the father of six of my own, I’m of the opinion that motherhood is among the most awesome responsibilities in the world, the toughest of jobs and fosters  virtue in some cases where there was none.

*There are some terrible examples of moms in the world but I will stick to only those that do it right.

The mother/child relationship begins with the miracle of life and builds from there. It has been said that, “Motherhood is a debt that cannot be repaid.” How could one repay? Never mind the pangs and sacrifices of pregnancy over nine-months. I read some years back that the average attentive mother arguably saves a child’s life over 4,000 times by age 7.

From taking things out of mouths, steering wobbling toddlers away from stairs, dogs, streets, swimming pools, cleaning chemicals, sharp tools, hot stoves or making world class saving catches of babies falling down and about to smash their heads on the corners of furniture or stopping a door from crushing their fingers in the nick of time.  How about after they begin to tip over in the tub twenty times a bath x 700 baths? It never ends. The vigilance of the mom must outmatch the tireless curiosity of the child and, all this superhero business while they organize the kids rooms (again). While meals are being prepared in piece by piece strategy when they happen to pass by the kitchen on their way to the laundry room, while their necks strain from pinning their phones to their shoulders, all the while, counting in their heads (in secrecy) how many seconds their eyes have been off their babies.

Once the child grows a bit, the moms, in a away, lose those precious babies and are now raising these little walking people who have the capacity of very drunk adults so the micro-managing continues. The next phase comes with the non-stop questions of which half should be written down because they’re so funny. Moms get so many of these that most are kept in the treasures of their hearts, not to be shared, lost due to the next 34 questions before they even get out of their neighborhoods to the stores.

The awkward early teens evolve into observant, judging young adults who begin to realize that their parents are not perfect and infallible which is kind of sad but when done right, they still aspire to be like you. They will remember the games or recitals you went to. The times you rushed up to them like combat trained army medics when their tricycles tipped over or when that bee stung them  and the dozens of times just stroking their foreheads and cheeks until they fell asleep in bed with a fever.

They will remember the hot meals, the cold drinks, the clean clothes and beds. The stories you read to them and how attentive you were while they told their stories to you about how their days were away from you. They will eventually come to know how so many dollars were spent on their needs ..and wants, budgets be damned. They will be in awe of how many birthdays and holidays passed when you only thought of them. They will realize just how many Christmas Eves you stayed up until 3:30 a.m. after being beyond exhausted to prepare for the next morning so the gifts, the stockings, the Santa snacks and the tree were all ju-ust right (which was only 90 minutes at the most from the time you rested your heads on your pillows).

While Andrea and I are not qualified to speak to what may happen next, I can be and am very proud to know that my wife has provided the miracle of motherhood as well as anyone imaginable and my children will most certainly be there for her, because she was always there for them. I am honored to have been witness to this incredible woman who is as great a wife as she is a mother.

You are amazing Moms! We who are wise enough to observe can only thank you with the means we have and it will never be enough.