Mother's Day. A date on which we honor those women, living and deceased, near and far, and/or related to us by birth, marriage or affection - and who have touched our lives in some maternal way.
As always, I dedicate this column to my own mother (the world's greatest, of course!). I'd also like to honor my mother-in-law, aunts, sister, sister-in-law and all of my tried-and-true girlfriends who, like me, are quest to master the most important job on earth.
To that end, I'd like to share with you some of the things I've learned in the 10 years, five months and three days since God blessed me with my greatest gift: my son, Kyle.
1) To work or not to work, that is the question.
It's a conundrum as old as time itself: is it better for a Mom to work or stay at home? Whatever each Mom chooses is best for her family, but rest assured that we all feel guilty about it sometimes, either way. We all do the best we can.
2) Discipline is for Moms and Dads ONLY.
It's OK for my husband and I, our parents, siblings and closest friends to reprimand Kyle. If anyone else looks crossway at him, however, I'll hire a hitman.
3) Whoever said children should be seen and not heard was not a mother.
Whether it's to know how they feel, what they're thinking or even if they've got a new crush this week, moms want their kids to talk to them, period.
4) Sometimes, a $4 "diamond" is your most prized possession.
I'm here to tell you that there is nothing more precious than a big old plastic diamond on a faux gold band that turns your finger green. It's literally invaluable to receive a hand-picked gift from your wee one.
5) Hoarding is OK when the subject matter is handmade cards and presents.
OK, so I may have a little issue in this department. It's really tough for me to part with something Kyle has made just for me with his own two hands. Just FYI, I have finally started to pitch outdated homework assignments. Hey, it's progress!
6) There's a thin line between utter rage and absolute, bust-a-gut, fall-on-the-ground laughter.
I wish I had a dime for every time Kyle did something that would have been utterly and unequivocally unforgivable - if it didn't make me laugh so hard I nearly required adult undergarment protectors.
7) You're never too old to need your Mommy.
That pretty much says it all.
8) The day your child stops holding your hand is a sad, sad day.
I'll never forget the first time Kyle told me that he'd rather I didn't kiss him goodbye in front of his friends. My head understood but my heart broke into a bazillion jagged pieces.
9) Play Dough bakes nicely at 350 degrees.
Being the Mommy means getting used to messes, problems, crises and oopses. You freak out at first, but over time, you just sprinkle the Play Dough with Legos and serve up a nice steaming bowl of "isn't life funny?"
10) Sick child = nothing else matters.
Please don't call, text or e-mail me with any delusions of a response when my boy is under the weather. I wouldn't even notice ET's mothership landing on my front lawn on those horrid days when Kyle is sick.
One last note: I would also like to ask your prayers and good thoughts for two other very special mothers in my life.
Firstly, please take a moment today to think of my mother's best friend Margaret, formerly of Youngstown, who passed away suddenly last autumn. How lucky I was to have had her in my life and to share what none of us could have possibly known would be her last Mother's Day together last year. I miss you, Grandma McH.
And, please spare just another minute in thought or prayer for my very special pal June who lives in Liberty. She is the mother of one of our dearest friends and is a tireless, faithful supporter of this column. Thanks for always treating me (and my family) with such genuine fondness; thank you for being you. I know things seem tough right now but everything is going to be just fine.
Margaret and June, I love you both. And Mom, you're the best - I adore you.
Happy Mother's Day, all!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.