MOM!  How many times a day is it uttered?  How many times is it heard?  So I thought I’d take a look at the evolution of that word.


As babies we learn quickly who comes to look us in the eye and give us everything we need…the moment that we cry.


When we notice she keeps coming back…whenever we call her…night or day…Is it any wonder why MOM is the first word we ever learn to say?


We realize the importance of that word…from the moment we first choose it…and how it changes in it’s meaning…almost every time we use it.


MOM! I’m hungry. When do we eat?…MOM! Is that a butterfly or a bee?…MOM! I can’t find my favorite toy…MOM! I fell down and scraped my knee.


MOM! Can I have a friend sleep over?   MOM! Today I got into a fight.   MOM! I need help with my homework…MOM! Do I have to brush my teeth tonight?


MOM! Is it OK if I borrow the car?  Yes, I have a date. MOM! I know…I know…I know…MOM! I won’t be home too late.


MOM! Hi, yes it’s me…no worries…college is a breeze…but I was wondering, if you have the time…MOM! could you send some money…please?


MOM! I’m coming home this weekend…at the dinner table…can you set another seat…I’m bringing home someone special…I’d like you and Dad to meet.


MOM! We’re getting married…Could you help us plan our wedding day?  MOM! Guess what…it happened…you’re a grandmother today.


MOM!…it’s been a while…everything’s fine…just wanted to hear your voice today…

MOM is sick!…She’s asking for me…tell her I’m on my way.


MOM!…I’m going to miss you…MOM!…I know you said don’t cry…

MOM!…don’t go…I’m not ready…MOM I don’t want to say goodbye.


I guess we never know from the first time we smile up at her…the first time we feel her touch…that a word that seems so simple…will come to mean so much.

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Working in a bookstore my eyes gaze out on a million words that captivate and endear…but nothing quite compares with one word I often hear.


Yes I hear the word Mom many times from the counter on which I’m leaning…and every time I hear it…it seem to have a different meaning… 


I hear the word Mom over and over each and every day and I find myself marveling how it can be said in so many different ways.


“Mommy, they have a Christmas tree! There’s an elf on the shelf, Mommy…look!”

“Mommy can you buy me this pack of crayons…Mommy I just have to have this book!”


“No you can’t buy that book it has too many words you will not understand.  Come on… we’re going to the Children’s section…hold on to mommy’s hand.”


A phone rings: “Hi Mom.  Yes I’m in the bookstore.  I’ll come see you when I’m through. Yes Mom, okay Mom, Yes Mom, Yes Mom, yes Mom…Yes Mom…I love you too.”


“Mom you look a little tired”. Her daughter pats her on the back and smiles. 

“I’m going to find us both a book. Why don’t you sit here for a while.”


“MOM HE ASKED YOU IF YOU WANT A RECEIPT!  The daughter yells but it’s a yell I find endearing as she looks at me she smiles and says. “My mom’s a little hard of hearing.”


A mom comes in with her little daughter in tow…her daughter’s crying, “She’s lost her favorite Teddy Bear. 

“She’s not sure when she lost it.” Her Mom said, “we’ve been looking everywhere.”


“She remembers looking at a book in your bookstore, she thinks her Teddy might be behind it”

“Thank you Mommy.” The little girl says as we search the store…and find it!”


A woman picks a book off the shelf and as she does she wipes away a tear

“Mom would have loved this book she whispers to herself…I sure wish she was here.”


What a wonderful little word is MOM…

for no matter how we convey it...

It’s meaning changes completely


by the way we happen to say it.



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“What was that?” The young boy asked his mom as he pointed to the sky.

“That star…it’s gone now but I’m pretty sure…at least I think I saw it fly.”


“That was a shooting star.” His mom said as she raised her eyes and stared.

Then she smiled at her son and said, “To see on is quite rare.”


“How amazing…now lucky…how fortunate you are…

now close your eyes and make a wish upon that shooting star.”


“But what should I wish for?” The young boy asked, 

“at this wishing stuff I’m kind of new.”

His mom smiled and said, “It’s a special wish…

between the shooting star and you.


There’s magic in a shooting star…

at least that’s how the legends go.

No one knows how the magic works 

but when you close your eyes you’ll know.


“This is how it happens…if the stories I’ve heard are true

You don’t have to search for a wish…the wish will come to you.”


The young boy closed his eyes and smiled 

and as his face began to shine

he whispered, “I wish everyone could have a mom 

as kind and wonderful as mine.”

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I love working in the bookstore where I am constantly surprised 

as I get to watch slices of life play out before my eyes…


I heard them before I saw them…a mother and her daughter too.

“Hey Mom”, I heard the daughter say, “let me hold the door for you”.


The daughter stood there smiling while opening the door wide…

as her mom, now using a walker, slowly stepped inside.


“Hey Mom! Do you want to look for a book?” her daughter ask her twice.

"Come to think of it”, her mother said, “a dictionary would be nice.”


I showed them a used dictionary, the mother’s face turned red…

“It’s just like the one you had growing up!”

“We’ll take it!” the daughter said.


“Hey Mom, do you want to look for another book?” the daughter asked

“If you want…you know you can.”

“No, I’m tired dear I think I’d like to sit down and talk to this young man.”


(I looked around the store, no other customers did I see

I happily concluded as this mother smiled…she was talking about me!)


She sat, we talked together in voices kind and calm

Meanwhile throughout the store we heard her daughter call “Hey Mom”.


“Hey Mom, are you sure you don’t want another book?” 

“Hey Mom, here’s something you don’t want to miss.”

“Hey Mom I remember reading this when I was young.”

“Hey Mom take a look at this.”


The mother smiled as she heard her daughters questions, her calls…her pleas…

“It’s nice to have a daughter.” she said, “who takes good care of me.


“Hey Mom, do you want to get some ice cream?” the daughter asked as they headed out the store…

“Hey Mom, watch your step…be careful as you’re walking out the door.”


I love how life is cyclical because as the mother finally cleared the door

another mother held it for her daughter as she ran into the store…


“Hey Mom, can I get a book?” her daughter asked…

“there’s so many in here I haven’ t read…

Her mother smiled as she looked at me..

“Of course you can.” She said.


And as the Mom passed by the counter…

With grace…with confidence…with aplomb

A voice rang out from the back of the store…


“Hey Mom! Come here!…”Hey Mom!”

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When you were born you were so tiny.

I was already taken with your charms.

We both began to cry until they put you in my arms.


I think I know what made us stop.

It was easy for me to see.

We both could hear the music of two hearts in harmony.


When you were born you couldn’t talk…but to my surprise

You seemed to say so much to me…when I looked into your eyes.


When you were born you couldn’t walk.

You didn’t have a clue…

but that didn’t matter because anywhere we went…I would carry you.


When you grew up…began walking on your own

I was there to guide you

and as you became more independent…I was proud to walk beside you


When you grew up…you didn’t stop talking

but, to my surprise

I still found so much meaning…when I looked into your eyes.


Even now, when you’re upset

If I hold you close to me

We both calm down when we feel…two hearts in harmony.


And after all these years and all life’s changes

I’m still just as taken with your charms…

as I was the day when you were born

the day they put you in my arms.


As I was the day you began to crawl…

the day you began to walk…

The day you smiled at me with your eyes…

the day you began to talk…


And even though we’re not as together

as we once used to be

In quiet moments I still feel it…

don’t you?


two hearts in harmony.


“What are you doing, son?” she asked after he began to carry her

when she was having trouble as they walked down by the sea?


“Just returning the favor,” Mom, he said, 


“for all those years…you carried me.”


She’s no longer here…but I like to keep her near

because that’s what children do

So when I have the time…sometimes in poem…sometimes in rhyme

I like to relive a memory…or two


Like how she always found a way…at least a little every day

to be patient, kind-hearted…nice

How all the time that she was living she could be so darn forgiving

How she lived a life of love and sacrifice.


Like how she loved to read a book…boy how she could cook

How she was not afraid to weep

how she would at no time partake of that final piece of cake

and I always wondered…when did she find the time to sleep?


How she jumped at every chance…to sing, to laugh to dance

If there was a stain upon on the floor then she would clean it.

How when I’d berate her…or told her how I hate her

She knew deep in her heart…I didn’t mean it


How she bought my new clothes first…I never reimbursed

yet, somehow, she was never out of style

And what about those nights…when I’d wake up in a fright

how she could erase a bad dream with just her smile.


She treated my friends old or new like they were family too

She seemed to make the whole world bright

And when things started to look bad…when I was hurting…feeling sad

She brought color to my world of black and white.


How her impact never died…she continues today to guide

my heart, my soul, my world and how I view it.

I hope she understood there were…so many times that I looked up to her

but in my heart and soul…I’m pretty sure she knew it.


Despite the fact she’s gone…I could go on and on

and I will when I am by myself…alone

But I’m sure each one of you have your remembrances too


so I’ll leave room now…for memories of your own:

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As we sit alone together inside our hospital room

It was only but one day ago I held you in my womb.


And today although you’re still too young to fully understand

In what truly is a miracle…I’m holding you in my hands.


How fast we must adjust…adapt…how swiftly we rearrange

This is your first life lesson…how quickly life can change.


There will come a day you no longer fit inside my hands…but do not be too alarmed

because there will never come a time…you don’t fit inside my arms.


You see there’s something magical about a mother’s love…that all your life holds true

It doesn’t matter how big you grow…my love will grow with you.


So as I stare into your eyes today….I find it easy to admit

from my womb, to my hands, to my arms…you are a perfect fit


And I promise I will love you…and be captivated by your charms


as long as I am living…as long as you fit inside my arms.

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With this poem I begin to celebrate mothers…

their wonder, their compassion…their mystique… 

I’m not waiting until Sunday however…

I’ll be celebrating every day this week:



As the day to celebrate moms approaches wouldn’t it be great to find a way

to act toward one another as if every day was Mother’s day.


We wouldn’t have to change a lot…wouldn’t have to make too much of a fuss

if we treated the entire world the way our mother’s treated us.


Just like Mom…

we’d share a smile with everyone and we would have the knack

of discovering the perfect way…to make them smile back.


Just like Mom…

we would comment on their beauty…their face, their eyes, their hair

and we would try to make them feel special any time and anywhere.


Just like Mom…

we would applaud the little things they do…by their smallest gestures we’d be enthralled.

We would encourage their success but help them up if they should fall.


Just like Mom…

we would treat the world with love and kindness, 

help to heal other’s pains and aches

We would be accepting, 

we’d be gentle 

and we’d forgive them their mistakes.


Just like Mom… 

We would find more time to play, we’d find more time to share.

We would show others by our actions they are important…that we care.


Wouldn’t this world be a better place…more harmonious and calm…

If we treated every creature, 



just like Mom?

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