…is on duty for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, for a minimum of 18 years – and often much longer.
She can wipe a runny nose, collect spilled Cheerios from the floor, quiz a child on spelling words and sort through today’s mail – all at the same time.
She lovingly corrects unacceptable behavior – even if not always in a loveable fashion.
She can remember where every birthday gift for the past 12 years was purchased, and by whom, as well as whether the recipient wrote a thank-you note for the gift or not.
She treasures things that she never would have dreamed of collecting even just a few years before – every lost baby t00th, every scribbled upon or cut apart piece of paper.
She knows exactly where every McDonalds play area within a 20-mile radius is, and how to reach the closest one from any point in town.
She can drive while rescuing sippy cups, dropped toys, thrown shoes or flung crackers from any point in her vehicle, without taking her eyes off of the road and while leaving one hand on the steering wheel at all times. Even though she knows she shouldn’t.
She hardly ever misses a baseball game, soccer practice, swim meet or school conference – often running frantically from one activity to another all day long.
She is a math expert, spelling champion, grammar whiz and science guru – whichever is necessary at any given point in time.
She doctors scrapes and bruises and kisses every boo-boo – but can recognize a faked stomachache from a mile away. Although sometimes she may let you stay home from school anyway – just because.
She is a vacation planner, accountant, costume designer, cookie maker, swing pusher, chauffeur, and referee all in the same day, and with little to no formal training in any of them.
She loves unconditionally – but will not hesitate to tell you what she thinks you are doing wrong. And exactly how she thinks you should fix it.
But she’ll support you, even when you make the wrong decisions. As you invariably will some of the time.
She gets no weekly paycheck for this job and often very little recognition or thanks. Her salary is collected in sticky kisses and hugs, and in every little “I wuv oo”.
But she doesn’t care, because she knows that these are the most precious currency there is.
She is Mom.