What struck me about the book, however, wasn't so much the extraordinary achievement of John's mother -- that goes without saying and is amply demonstrated in her beautiful writing -- it was how much John loves his mother. His passing on his mother's memoir was his way of showing her how much he loves her. I'm not alone in that estimation. Humorist Erma Bombeck, whose best-selling "Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession" was her funniest book, wrote in a preface to Mrs. Kramer's memoir: "Do you know what your son John did? He has such love for you that he wrote to tell me about your book and the life that inspired it."
Children -- even when they're adults -- need a way to express their love for their mothers. It was easy when they were young and could fashion a statement out of construction paper and glue. It gets harder when their lives become filled with new duties and obligations.
When we grow up, we need to find a new way to say "I love you." And for those moms on the receiving end, we need new ways to hear what our children are telling us. It may not be soggy cereal or a handmade potholder but, instead, a long-distance phone call or store-bought card. We may not get the luxury of a whole day when we are the center of attention, but for those few minutes when the kids are wishing us Happy Mother's Day, we know they are telling us how much we still matter in their lives.
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .
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