Updated: July 19, 2013 3:26PM
It’s that time of the year when we honor both mothers and fathers, so today we salute one of each who got it right.
Pam: We struggled with infertility. I was afraid to adopt because I was afraid the biological parent would take the baby away. There was a big story about that in news at that time. But my husband Nick found an adoption attorney who knew the Illinois adoption laws. So while I was ready to fly to a foreign country to adopt, my husband calmly took control of the domestic adoption of both our boys.
When we brought our first son to our pediatrician, who was also a family friend, he told Nick not to be a 1950s dad. And he never has been. He’s been hands-on since both boys were born.
He diapered them, fed them, gave them their baths and read and prayed with them every night. I think he’s been a better dad than I’ve been a mom. To this day, he chauffeurs them to their activities more than me. He’s been on their field trips, participated in Science Dads at their elementary school and even played St. Nicholas at our church. The joke around our home is that Dad is a better cook than Mom. It’s true.
I’m blessed that I have the family I do — a loving, caring husband who’s also a loving, caring father to our two sons.
Fiona: My late mother, Emily, provided unconditional love for me. Anything I did was wonderful just because I did it. If I played a piano piece for her, she’d tell me no one had ever played that piece so beautifully.
Of course I knew that wasn’t true, but having her as my biggest cheerleader was very empowering.
Her love made me know that I could do anything. When I had important choices to make, I rarely had any self-doubt. I knew I could do anything because my mom told me so, and she’d never lie.
I sometimes think that all of the world’s problems could be cured if every child had at least one person who thought the sun didn’t come up until he or she was awake each day. Think of what could be accomplished if everyone knew they were capable of doing anything they set their minds to because they had that inner confidence that comes from knowing they were loved.
My mother wasn’t happy that I decided to get an English degree, but once I was working in food marketing with a company car and gas cards, she bragged to everyone about her daughter, the college-educated executive. When I got married and starting having babies, each one of them was the most exceptional grandchild who had ever lived because they were my kids.
Mom’s been gone for more than two years now, but I still miss her a lot. I got a tattoo with her name on it to keep her with me forever. I joke to my husband and kids that I really miss that unconditional Mama-love. I know my family loves me, but there’s nothing like knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that one person in the world thinks you’re magnificent. It helps you to believe it yourself.
I hope my kids know that I think that of them.
How has your mother or father’s opinion of you influenced who you are and your relationship? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants. to firstname.lastname@example.org.