We all have moms, but some of us lost our moms a long time ago. I lost my mother Arlene Menold Strosser 25 years ago. I lost my dad the same year my kids lost their dad when they were age 7 to 12, so I needed a lot of momming myself over the years. I have many people to thank for momming me in ways they may not remember.
Thanks to friends and family. There were times I felt lost, but family members, friends and even friends of my parents often sent notes of praise to me. I saved those notes, and I still read them on a bad day. Thanks for handwritten and heartfelt messages.
My tennis buddies, some older, some younger but always my friends and advisors. One told me there would be times my kids needed me to be a friend — not a mom. Another shared a story she had never shared with anyone when she knew how down in the dumps I was about one of my kids’ blunders. Thanks, ladies.
To all the men and women I’ve ever worked with who know how hard it is to juggle careers and kids. Thanks for saving me.
To my husband, Kim Parker, who made me a better person and a better mom. And to my kids, who without knowing it, often mommed me. Here are some funny words of advice I’ll never forget:
Howie Eckert: “You might want to lose some weight before you wear that.” (It was a peach colored suit, and I rounded it out like a peach. I did lose weight, and I did wear it.)
Kelly Eckert: “Mom, get your own friends.” (I wanted my kids to go to a high school football game with me. They had reached that tween age where hanging out with Mom was not cool. It stung, but I branched out and met a lot of new people.)
Ryan Eckert: “I wouldn’t wear that raincoat. You kinda look like a mushroom.” (He was right — it was long and beige and so was my hair. I returned the coat to the store.)
Today, the three little Eckerts (pictured above with my husband and me) always offer some tender advice, hugs and kisses when I really need them. The memories of their quotes make me laugh. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone. I’m eating Ghirardelli brownies for breakfast. I won’t be wearing a peach suit or a beige raincoat today.