Mother: Susan A. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   I am a son, therefore, I must have a mother. She carried me for nine gloriousmonths and gave pleasant birth to a bouncing baby, Scott, on June 9, 1982. I dobelieve that qualifies her to be my biological mother. But long ago she surpassedthe elementary duties of motherhood and moved on to a much higher, moreprestigious and more honorable level of superiority. She, by extraordinary andexemplary conduct in the area of son-rearing, can rightfully go by the highlyesteemed title "Mom."

For just a couple months shy of 18 years,my mom has given time from her life, much of her liberty and a good portion ofher happiness to invest in my well-being. Rough calculations indicate that thenumber of meals she provided (which includes paying for and/or preparing food andbeverages) comes to somewhere around 18,632 breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Ican't imagine the hundreds of hours of much-needed sleep that never closed herweary eyes during my infancy - or for that matter, my childhood and teenageyears. She has washed, dried, folded and delivered loads ofgrass-stained/dirt-spotted/sweat-smelling laundry. She's scheduled doctors'appointments for all kinds of parts of the body, cut hair, taken pictures,purchased presents, planned vacations and basically kept a small boy's liferunning smoothly.

When I was 12, I got into silly arguments with my olderand wiser parents. The quarrels never led to any accomplishment or achievementwhatsoever for me, but I still took part. Many times my emotions caused tears towell up in my eyes by the finale of the engagement. Crying, I'd retreat to myroom and stay for as long as my parents allowed. Then I'd hear a knock and barelymanage a frail, "Come in." My mom, taking the role of peacemaker, wouldslowly enter and sit next to me on my bed. I'd again attempt to prove my point -this time with far less enthusiasm - which Mom calmly, sternly and lovingly shotdown with her voice of reason. Then she'd hug me and I'd stop crying; all wouldbe right in the Appleman household again.

Hugs will forever be hertrademark: warm hugs for goodnights, good-byes and a thousand other occasions. Acertain phrase breaks through whatever conversation may be going on at the timebefore an embrace: "You're never too old to hug your mother." I'veheard those eight words since the dawn of my time. They ring true. For somereason, those words possess the incredible power to calm anxious nerves, cool anangry head, squelch gigantic fears and right terrible wrongs.

Perhaps mymother, now worthy of the title "Mom," can be an example to motherseverywhere. Motherhood holds no spectacular difficulty. Any female of the speciespossesses the ability to become one. The challenge isn't in fulfilling thedefinition of "mother," but of "mom." Mine does that quitewell.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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