John Rosemond
Tribune News Service

Motherís Day 2017 has come and gone. Nonetheless, Iím going to talk about mothers ó one in particular.

Assuming one believes his or her mother is worthy of admiration, then said esteem ought to be expressed on a frequent basis and not reserved for the second Monday in May. Also, and with due respect to greeting card companies, said expressions of gratitude are best delivered intimately, as in phone calls, hand-written notes, or, best of all, in person.

With full awareness of the fact that the risk is immense, Iím going to risk attempting an answer to the question ďWhat constitutes a good mother?Ē I feel Iím qualified to answer the question because I was blessed with a good mother. She was far from perfect, but then so are we all. She was at times irritating, infuriating, and even at times downright weird, but Iím sure I gave her more to complain about than she gave me.

Nonetheless, she never complained. My upbringing (Mom was single for most of the first seven years of my life) was very libertarian. She gave me lots of freedom while insisting that I accept full personal responsibility for my actions.

She gave me the greatest of freedoms, in fact ó that being the freedom to fail. I took her up on that offer often enough in my younger years, by the way. In the process, Iím sure I caused her more than my rightful share of disappointment, but she loved me through thick and thin.

Mom was a feminist before feminism became popular. She chose single motherhood and fought tooth and nail for a doctorate in botany when women were far from welcome in the all-male life-sciences departments of most American universities. In the way she lived her life, she taught me that women are interesting people, or are fully capable of being ó a capacity they will fall far short of if their children are the be-all, end-all of their existences, which I was not. Mom did not spare telling me that I was but one of her responsibilities. I was not the whole shebang. All children should be given that gift by their mothers.

She also taught me that authority resides legitimately in females. I was, I admit, afraid of her. She never yelled or spanked. She just radiated a complete confidence in the authority she held over my life. She was the personification of ďBecause I Said So.Ē

My mother ó Emily Webb of Charleston, S.C. ó was a good mom; or, certainly good enough. Every kid deserves a mother that good. If your mom was good enough, make sure you tell her so more than one day a year.

Sends emails to questions@rosemond.com.