The fun thing about being an American teaching in a foreign country is that your students think you’re really cool. One day walking home from school, a group of my 5th grade students ran up to me. They are intensely curious about everything regarding “the American”. The littlest things (from the fact that I get to cook my own dinner to having my own apartment) seem to inspire totally unwarranted awe. Then I told them about my big, exciting plan for the evening: doing laundry. One of the girls, Lisa, immediately said with a huge smile: “Yeah, my mom does my laundry for me. It’s great!”
(Thanks for rubbing it in, Lisa. I just love doing laundry.)
But Lisa was right about one thing: Moms are great. (Dads are too; But sorry, guys, this is Mom’s day.)
Moms are the ones who decorate our rooms, even before we are born. They decide on the paint, pattern, and even those tacky animal wall-clings that you still can’t get off the wall even today. Moms are the ones who know how and when to separate “you two”, but she also knows when to put you back together, because who else would you want play with? Moms are the ones who help you learn to tie your shoes, put bandages on skinned knees and elbows, let you lick the last bit of cookie batter out of the bowl, pack little notes of encouragement into your lunchbox if you have a big math test, come to every recital and game no matter how badly or well you play or if you win or lose.
Moms are the ones who send unexpected care packages, skype with the latest news, “like” that selfie you posted even if no one else did, send you enough Pinterest, Facebook, and Candy Crush recommendations to make you want to scream, and even the occasional reminder text: “Don’t forget! It’s Friday and it’s Lent! Don’t eat meat!”
Moms are also the ones who teach you how to respect yourself and others, no matter where you are. Moms are the ones who show you how to be compassionate and strong, not just one or the other. Moms are the ones who love unconditionally, because that’s what being a parent is: loving for loving’s sake.
So I encourage you all to enjoy this Mother’s Day and spend some time to appreciate all the things, big and small, that mothers (and grandmothers and all the women in your life) do. Because, like Lisa said, Moms are great. And I can’t argue with that. Hannah is Fulbright recipient teaching English in the German city of Klemnitz. She will return to the USA this summer to begin graduate school in literary criticism at the University of Kansas. Each year she writes a cover story for the Link as a Mother's Day present for her mom.