As fathers, it’s good for us to honor moms — our own mothers, who helped to nurture and shape us, and our children’s mothers, who are our teammates in the parenting role. This weekend, we need to step up and bring our very best effort to this task, and assist our children in doing the same.
(This photo is my mother as a young woman, before I ever knew her.)
One thing I learned from my mother was a sensitivity to the needs of others. Not long after my father died, I went with my mother to the Veteran’s Administration building to finalize some estate matters. On the way there, she expressed some concerns about finances and how she would be provided for — very valid issues, for sure.
We went in and signed some papers and did our business, but then as we were walking back toward the car, my mom grabbed my elbow and said, “Son, stop.” I turned and said, “You okay, Mom?” (Sometimes her arthritis gave her trouble and made her life difficult.) She didn’t talk, but just stared up ahead of us. There I saw a man on the sidewalk who was really struggling to get along, barely able to walk even with a cane.
We stood there quietly for a few moments and then went on our way. But I “heard” her clearly. She was saying, “Son, I don’t have any problems. That man is a reminder about how great our blessings are.”
That’s how my mom was, even when I was a young boy, and I have tried to imitate that virtue in my own life. I keep my eyes out for people who are on the fringes or who might be struggling, and whenever I can, I try to get to know them, encourage them, and convey that they are important. Today, that kind of thing comes naturally for me, and it isn’t because I’m so wonderful, but because I had a mother who was sensitive to the situations of others. She challenged me to think that way even in my adult years, and it made a difference.
Dad, how did your mother contribute to your life and your character? Think of specific ways — with stories, if you can remember them — and use those to express appreciation to your mother. Also, brainstorm with your kids about their mom and how she has contributed to their lives, then use those ideas to help them honor her. Mothers are indispensable, and dads, we play a key role in encouraging them and making sure they receive the recognition they deserve.
- Recall memories from your childhood that capture what your mother means to you. Use those stories to honor her this Sunday.
- Tell your children about two or three positive character lessons you have learned from your mother.
- Honor your mother by doing something she often told you to do, or by participating in an initiative or cause that she believed in.
- Consider performing an act of service with your children for a single mom. Help her kids honor their mom in a meaningful way.
- Encourage your children to listen carefully to their mom and learn all they can from her.
- Read more on our website: An article for single dads on Mother’s Day, and more ideas for how to make this the best Mother’s Day ever.
–1001 Things it Means to Be a Mom: (the Good, the Bad, and the Smelly) by Harry Harrison, Jr.
– Thank You, Mom by Gregory Lang
– A Mother’s Legacy: Your Life Story in Your Own Words