Happy Mother's Day

Today being Mother's Day, I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the day and the people who made it possible (No, not the florists). When I think to those I consider models for mothers, I look to my memory of my own, and to the example of my wife.

My mom was a simple girl of modest means growing up in the Iowa of the 40's and 50's. Many of her formative years were spent on her relative's farms. As a high school grad, she worked her way through nurses training, and after marriage, eventually went on to have six kids. For many years she was a stay at home mom, until the youngest child in the family got to grade school. At that point, she took nursing back up again.

But in all that time, Mom was always doing something else on the side. She had one of Pierre's antique shops all through those years, and was always had a can-do attitude. If she wanted to expore an area of interest, she went and did it. It eventually led her to a side career in the auction business. In Pierre, depending on your age, you either remember her as the auctioneer, or the school nurse. And her memory is equally treasured either way.

That "can-do attitude" is what I consider my mom's greatest influence on me, where I don't have pre-conceived limitations on myself. If I want to try something, I try it. I might fail, but at the least, I've learned something about it and myself in the process.

As for my wife, as a working mother, she's someone who has always kept busy and tried to juggle her family and her professional life. We started having chilren right away, so that's been an ever prevalent concern as it is for many mom's today.

When she was with the State, working for the Department of Ed, she was near the top of her game on a national level. In fact, as a board member, it had been remarked to her that some saw her rising to be national president of her professional organization.

Her job became one of constant travel statewide, regionwide, and to Washington DC. But the thing that weighed heaviest on her mind was not her professional duties. It was the fact her kids were growing up and she was on the road all the time. So when an opportunity arose, she walked away from a ladder that was continuing upwards. She took a job which allowed her travel to all but cease, and devote more of her time to her growing family. Because weighing career and motherhood, she made a choice that's much less glamorized in popular culture. She went for spending more time being a mom.

But don't take that to indicate she can't compete at the highest levels. My wife has a razor sharp mind, and can fiercely debate any and all comers. You should come particularly well prepared if you try to debate her in her field, because the odds aren't in your favor.

The lesson I hope my wife passes on to our children is that your family is the most important thing in your life. As the pace of our society becomes quicker and more impersonal, don't forget what's important at the end of the day. Jobs and opportunities can come and go. But you build your true legacy through your children.

(So I'm letting this mom get the unusual opportunity to sleep in today. Shhh....)

Happy Mother's Day.


Anonymous said…
South Dakota was the first state to officially recognize Mother's Day with the proclamation of Gov. Robert Vessey. Anna Jarvis promoted Mother's Day with a letter to all 50 Governor's. Only Governor Vessey responded... April 9, 1909. West Virginia followed in 1910 and President Wilson made it a national day of observance in 1914
Anonymous said…
Hey PP, I am proud of you for your statements about your mom and your wife.
It is always great to know that some men are not scared to say thanks!
oldguy said…
I know your mom as both. She was a outstanding lady!I remember seeing the "kids" on the yard on Central street across from the old Lincoln school. Time lies before you know it you will be saying when the kids were young..... You both made the right choice.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous 10:20am

What's the history behind Father's Day? Did it come before or after Mother's Day recognition?
Mrs. PP said…
Thank you for this - you know there's nothing I love more than being with you and the kids.In the whole scheme of things, over the last two years, I'm pretty sure I've gotten the better part of the deal because the kids and I were together all the time. Being with you every day again is going to be great - if I can get used to having you hog the bed all the time.
Love you.
Anonymous said…
I hear ya and know that one Mrs PP!

Anonymous said…
hmm, 12 million gals. a day and 2,000 employees. . . ? I know, it's the Sioux Falls City Council's latest pool proposal!

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