Thank You, Mom


Hello, I’m Leah G. Alfonso. I write so that I may speak.

Well, seeing as today is Mother’s Day, I figured it would be appropriate to say a few words about my mom. Before I get into that, though, I want to talk a bit about mothers in general. Granted, I’m not a mother, nor do I plan to be one for a while. But we all had a mother at some point in our lives, even if it was only for a short amount of time. As JK Rowling expressed when describing Lily Potter in the Harry Potter series, “[mother love] is so formative in everyone’s life, for good or for ill” [1]. And…yeah, it is.

Parenthood is the toughest—and yet most important—job that anyone can take on. I’m often suspicious of teenaged girls deciding to keep their babies when they get pregnant, mostly because we never fully realize what it means to be a mother until we have children. It’s not just giving birth to a child, feeding it the right foods, and taking it places. It means putting that child’s best interests before your own 24/7, taking a genuine interest in it, and making sacrifices whether you’re ready or not. Parenthood is work, and you don’t get paid a cent for it. With that said, the best mothers are the ones who not only pour every ounce of love they can into their children, but also take pride in doing it.

I’m glad I get an opportunity to give thanks for my mom. She worked behind the scenes, creating a safe place for my brother and me to come back to when we were scared or overwhelmed. At the same time, however, she challenged us to learn and grow, especially as we got older. She had her own convictions, but she never forced them on us. She gave them to us when we asked her, but she let us draw our own conclusions about life. Ultimately, of all the things I learned from my mother, the one at the top of my mind is that politics and beliefs should never get in the way of relationships. Form your own opinions, but treat everyone with kindness no matter who they are, what they’ve done, or what they believe. Because at the end of the day, we’re all human beings bearing the image of God.

At the end of the day, I appreciate my mom because she treated my brother and I like adults, which I think is how we all want to be treated no matter what stages we’re at in our lives. She never gave us more than we could handle, but at the same time she challenged us to learn and grow. She encouraged us to follow our passions, but also asked us about some of the decisions we made so that we’re absolutely sure we won’t regret those decisions later. Were there times when I would disagree with my mom? Of course. But at the same time, I wouldn’t ask for anyone else to be my mom. She was a place of refuge when I was a child, and as an adult she’s an important mentor, role model, and guide. All I hope for in the future is that—if I do have children—I could be the same mother for them that mine was for me.

Until next time, this is Leah G. Alfonso saying “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You deserve it.”

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