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Treasuring the Million Ways to be a Good Mom


“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” Jill Churchill



G.K. Chesterton once shared a delightful story of pickpocketing his own pockets. He writes,”I had a complete ignorance and profound curiosity as to what I should find there.” He shares that he was locked up in a third-class carriage of a train with nothing to do. He did not have a book, a newspaper, a notebook or even a scrap of paper or a pencil. He found himself staring at the joints of the walls and seats when suddenly he remembered his pockets. He writes,” I was carrying about with me an unknown treasure.”*


Where is your hidden treasure? Have you ever thought about what you carry with you? You may have things in your pocket or purse, but even better, things in your heart.


I was at a school event last weekend for mothers and sons. Junior and senior high school boys were invited to attend with their moms. We all dressed up and shared a lovely and meaningful time together. All the senior sons wrote a letter in advance and presented it to their moms. And then toward the end of our time together we watched a video that made us cry as each senior son appeared in a video clip sharing what they had learned from their mom. The variety of answers was striking, each seeming to fit with each young man on the screen. It reminded me of what one mom said, “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”


By the time your son or daughter is a senior in high school you can’t help but wonder at least two things: How did this happen? Have I prepared them to go out into the world? There are a myriad of other questions and feelings a mom may have at any stage of their child’s development. I have to tell you something though. When I was sitting at the event, every single son had something to share. Every mom had made a difference in their son’s life, each in their own way. Their way, was a treasure within, something the sons could carry in the pockets of their hearts — the love, the hope, the often untold treasures that only a mom can give. The love that is shared and sown throughout the years remains and grows in ways we may never fully know or see or understand but one thing is sure, it is a treasure.



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* After sharing the items of treasure within his pockets, Chesterton goes on to say: “I cannot tell you all the things that were in my pocket. I can tell you one thing, however, that I could not find in my pocket, I allude to my railway ticket.” From G.K. Chesterton, “What I Found in My Pocket” from Tremendous Trifles (1909), public domain.

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