Ryan Trares: Moms shaped the world around me

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This Sunday is designated as Mother’s Day, when families will come together to show their love to the moms in their lives.

But I’ve discovered that every day, in almost everything I do, is a celebration of the wisdom, compassion, and spirit of generosity that the mothers in my life have given me.

My own mother raised two rambunctious boys and a stubborn girl, with a grace I’m not sure I ever had. As a firstborn, I was the introduction to each of the challenges of parenthood – the wayward newborn, the aloof child, the rebellious teenager, the supposedly independent student. When I think back to my hijinks, I cringe, wondering how she got away with it.

But no matter what mistakes I made, she never stopped loving me. She showed me what unconditional love was, even though I didn’t understand at the time.

One of his most infectious traits was his optimism and kindness. I believe it came from her mother – my grandmother – lighting up any room she walked into. My grandmother knew the importance of family and gatherings, so every time we made the trip across Ohio to visit, she was waiting with a big hug and a plate of chocolate chip cookies.

She walked in the woods with me and showed me the treasures of nature. As my siblings and I ran around their shady yard, she sat with the rest of the family, watched with a glass of lemonade, keeping an eye out if anyone needed a refill or a another piece of pie.

She always loves me when I see her.

On the other side of the family, my grandmother on my father’s side also emphasized family. Her home was the epicenter of holiday festivities, where her five children, their spouses, and all of their children gathered under one roof. She planned summer get-togethers and get-togethers, arranging around everyone’s schedule so the family could be together as often as possible, no matter how far apart they were.

When my wife and I started dating, another mother came into my life. Marci’s mother, Sara, is a ball of energy with a big heart, a master cook and such a good gift-giver that you wonder if she can read minds. She is an example of generosity that everyone should look up to.

Which brings me to the mother at the heart of our nuclear family: my wife, Marci.

When Anthony was born, we were confused, like all new parents. But building on the examples that had been in our lives, we made our way. Marci embraced motherhood naturally, knowing exactly how to hold our son to calm his crying (a skill she can still use brilliantly even today.)

She loves and supports, eager to play a game of falls and ladders or a few games of MarioKart. She’s a school project whiz, always up for a dance party and writing encouraging notes for Anthony’s lunches.

Those quiet moments, though, when she and Anthony cuddle up on the recliner are truly magical. They have a connection that is undeniable.

Their bond is inspiring, if unsurprising – Marci would do anything for her child. Like all the mothers who have marked my life, she pushes me to improve myself. But as I already know, nothing beats a mother’s love.

And that’s how it should be. Happy Mother’s Day.

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