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Slices of Life: The definition of mother

It's something we all have in common. Mothers have touched our lives. Each of us came into the world courtesy of a mother. But the concept doesn't stop there. Mothers are everywhere. They live next door or across the country. They are teachers, coaches, counselors, protectors, enforcers, disciplinarians and friends.

They are unconditional.

They come from all walks of life to influence others. And, whether the mother in your life is the woman who gave birth to you, raised you or lived down the street and had a motherly impact, chances are somewhere along the way someone touched your heart in a motherly fashion.

Likewise, it's likely you've served the role in the life of at least one human being or perhaps a four-legged friend. You don't have to give birth to be a mother in someone's eyes. Mothers are born through various circumstances.

While no two mothers are the same, there are some common threads that accompany the job title: M-O-T-H-E-R.

M — A mother is a mentor and a motivator. She is your number one fan no matter what the score of the game. She is on your side, even when you are confused about which side you are actually on.

O — I've always said taking on the task of motherhood is an infinite act of optimism. A mother places her bet on a life outside her own, doubles down and then goes all in. She has no choice. Unconditional love requires such commitment and sacrifice.

T — Often, mothers are tenderhearted, tranquil and thoughtfully nurturing. But, under that façade is a toughness that has the capability to eat nails for breakfast. The softest mother can become a surly and keenly focused adversary should her child be threatened in some way. This same bold fortitude also appears when a child messes up and requires a dose of a mother's tough love, which is often just as tough on the mother as it is the child.

H — Motherhood can be a battle of the head and heart. Sometimes a mother is forced to listen to the logic coming from her head when her heart is screaming for her to do just the opposite. In a second scenario, the heart rules and love trumps logic. The tricky part of motherhood is knowing one from the other.

E — Mothers are embarrassing, especially to a 13-year-old, especially in public. They can be exasperating, especially when they won't let you stay out late or demand that you take one more bite of your broccoli. They are entirely overbearing and exceedingly oppressive and essentially erroneous in their belief that they know more than you do. They also demonstrate an everlasting love and devotion that endures far past their time with us here on earth. A mother's love is eternal. Thank goodness.

R — The role of mother is cast without rehearsals. There are no re-dos for mess-ups or mishaps. Motherhood is a responsibility (and privilege) that begins right now and lasts until way then without the option of retirement. Once a mother, always a mother.

We wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Mother's Day — To everyone who's had the privilege of being someone's mom!

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