"What is a Mother?" by H. F. Mann

"Mom, the kids at school, don't have have mommies with gray hair like you do. Why?"
"Well honey, let me tell you."
"Do you know what a mother is?"
"Sure I do. That's easy. I'm in the second grade already. Mommies are someone who has kids."
"Well, that is certainly part of it, but there is more to it than that. You see Billy, a mother is someone who has fed you, dressed you, changed your diapers, cuddled you, walked the floor most of the night comforting you when you were sick and tried to be sure you were safe at all times. Then later, a mother sees that her child has everything they need to go to school. Books, fresh, clean clothes, lunch, and a quiet place to study and do homework. This is the same mother who tells you to clean up after yourself, do your chores, sit up straight, be kind to everyone and animals too. Mothers tell kids to go outside and play, calls them for dinner, fusses at them for their table manners slip-ups, and insists they clear the table or wash the dishes."
"I really don't like doing the dishes mommy."
"That's okay. We all have to do things we don't love. But doing them without whining means, you are growing up."
"Later when kids are older, mothers are the ones who still give you all the things I said, except for the diaper changing part, and the job gets bigger. This is a time when mothers do a lot of worrying. She can't keep her babies safe like she used to. Now her baby is growing into the man or woman they were meant to be. Mothers know the pitfalls are many. Her baby is driving and going to places without her. Sports, cars, parties, girlfriends or boyfriends, alcohol, drugs, gangs, bad choices, bad people, disease and more cause a mother to worry her baby might be in danger."
"This is why mothers lay awake at night until her babies are in the house where she knows they are safe."
"Now that you know what a mother is, the reason my hair is gray is that your birth mother couldn't take care of you. She needed to be sure her baby was safe and cared for, so she let me be your mommy."
"You see, mothers can be grandmothers like me, aunts, sisters, and sometimes, someone not in the family, like foster mothers, and even sometimes fathers, grandfathers, and uncles."
"But Honey, the best and biggest thing it takes to be a mother is love. Just love."

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