I'm waking up on one of the last Sundays of my college career and thinking of how I am not home to take you out for a meal or give you a hug and kiss to show my appreciation for all that you've done. As four years of a rock n' roll lifestyle you helped make possible come to an end, thank you mother for all your hard work and for being patient with me.
Today, I cannot help but think about all that is going on in the world---BP oil spills, attempted terror attacks by incompetent radical Muslims, 1000 point stock market plunges (maybe it's time to take our money and leave the casino, mom), cuts and setbacks to public education which threaten the well-being of teachers all over this country...
I wonder how you (and other mothers) do it. Actually, that's silly. You do it just like everyone else who understands the need to survive and press on. You do just what anybody would do. And, you do it so well.
Last year, I brought my girlfriend home to meet you for Mother's Day. I wrote about her in a thinly veiled manner and I assume you figured out whom I was talking about eventually. We're still together and I owe a lot of that to you.
Sometimes I look at her and see you, mom. I don't know if anyone else has done that with their girlfriend---fallen in love with someone who winds up being a lot like their mother. That would probably freak a lot of immature guys out. They probably would just get in the pants of their girlfriend and then run off to find another catch, but not me. I happen to find it fascinating how much she is like you.
When we're cleaning up a room, she has a method just like you. She'd prefer I stay out of her way. And, she asks that I just keep my music off so she can listen to the music she likes. That's all. (So, I turn the Fela Kuti/Velvet Underground/garage rock/John Mellencamp/Nirvana/blues etc. Pandora mix off and just let her enjoy Glee Cast or pop songs I wish nobody listened to.)
She wants things like so, like you mom. Planning ahead and preferring to know rather than be spontaneous, she doesn't let me get away with letting my future just fall into place like I want it to. She's pushing me each and every day to have a clearly defined vision for my future after college and she's one of those people who is terrified if she doesn't know how something is going to work out.
I don't know if you get scared when you don't know how something is going to end, but something about her fear and anxiety reminds me of you. And, I know that I need to hold her and be there to support her each and every day because of you.
Now, allow me to get political. Here are a few statistics about mothers in the United States from a report called the "State of the World's Mothers 2010."
Out of 43 countries, the United States is 28th in a study that looks at the well-being of mothers and children all over the world.
That's because the maternal mortality rate is 1 in 4,800---one of the highest in the world, according to the report. Thirty-five of the 43 countries did better than the U.S. on this.
The U.S. rate for under-5 mortality is 8 per 1,000. Thirty-eight countries performed better in this category than the U.S.
The U.S. has the least generous maternity leave policy, according to the report. In terms of duration and percent of wages paid during leave, it is one of the worst out of all wealthy nations in the world.
And, finally, when it comes to women in politics, 17 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives are held by women, which is staggeringly low when compared to the fact that 46 percent of the seats in Sweden and 43 percent in Iceland are held by women.
Norway is number one. The country has, according to the report, "the highest ratio of female-to-male earned income, the highest contraceptive prevalence rate, one of the lowest under-5 mortality rates, and one of the most generous maternity leave policies in the developed world."
Moms, imagine getting at least 20 paid vacation days.
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