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I apologize for sending out a belated Mother's Day salute. My aim to finish this blog Friday morning went by the wayside.

My son's 2-month checkup turned into a 23-hour hospital observation. He's gaining weight, but slowly, and he's been spitting up quite a bit. To err on the side of caution, his pediatrician wanted to get him tested for pyloric stenosis.

According to the Web site, pyloric stenosis is a condition in which a baby's pylorus — the connection between the stomach and the first part of the small intestine — gradually swells and thickens, resulting in vomiting and a lack of weight gain.

Tests revealed that Jacob does not have pyloric stenosis, but he does have reflux. We received treatment instructions and he was discharged early Saturday afternoon.

Once home, there was no time to relax. We had Amber's dance recital that evening, and again Sunday afternoon. Both performances went off without a hitch. I was so proud of her! 

After Sunday's performance, we went with my parents, two of my sisters and four nieces to Hoss's Steak & Sea House for dinner. It really turned out to be a nice day — and a nice Mother's Day.

When Amber found out on Sunday morning that it was Mother's Day, she said that she didn't have a gift for me. I told her that the best gift that she could give me was a great recital performance (she did). I also told her that I didn't need a gift for Mother's Day, because the best gifts I could have are her and Jacob (I really mean that). 

The following essay, "Mothers and Moms," was passed on to me through an e-mail forward from a friend. If you're not a mom, however, think of how special your own mother, grandmothers, aunts and other motherly figures are in your life.

I hope you all had a happy, blessed and relaxing Mother's Day.


This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's okay honey, Mommy's here" … who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purses. … for all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes, and all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see, and the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors, and for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars. … And that when their kids asked, "Did you see me, Mom?" they would say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner, and for all the mothers who count to 10 instead, but realize how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies, and for all the (grand)mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry so their children can eat. … For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year — and then read it again, "Just one more time."

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school, and for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home or even away at college or have their own families.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up "right away!"

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them. … For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14-year-olds dye their hair green. … For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings and the mothers of those who did the shooting. … For the mothers of the survivors and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time? Or is it in her heart?

Is it the ache she feels when she watches her son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time? The jolt that takes her from sleep to dread, from bed to crib, at 2 a.m. to put her hand on the back of a sleeping baby? The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 a.m. when she just wants to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in her home? Or the need to flee from wherever she is and hug her child when she hears news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation … and for mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers; single mothers and married mothers; mothers with money, mothers without, this is for you all. For all of us … hang in there. In the end, we can only do the best we can.

Tell our children everyday that we love them, and pray and never stop being a mother.