When I was about four or five I remember sitting in the den by myself playing a game of Memory. My siblings were running all over the house with other kids from the neighborhood, the TV was on full blast, my Mom was making dinner and my Dad was about to come home. In the middle of all this chaos, I remember I made two successful matches in a row in my solitary game of Memory. I was so proud of myself that I ran into the kitchen to tell my Mom. I remember she was in the middle of peeling potatoes at the sink, but immediately stopped as I began to recount my genius matches. She then waited for me to finish and then, in a very non-patronizing way, told me how smart she thought I was.
I'll never forget that simple exchange because it set the standard for the kind of mother I want to be. My Mom could have told me she was in the middle of making dinner, or just nodded absently as I retold my insignificant game of Memory. But she didn't. Instead, my Mom chose to express a simple phrase to show an unforgettable moment of love. And that's how she has always been. She's always mothered in a simple way. She always took the time to stop and build us up, teach us and love us along the way. I hope one day I too can be that kind of mother.