MAXWELL: Can’t say enough good things about Mom  

5/5/2004 – Printed in the EDITORIAL section of The St Petersburg Times Newspaper

When we speak of mothers, our praises never become cliches. We cannot say too many good things about the women who brought us into the world, who nurtured us through the days and months when we were helpless, who stood up for us even when we were wrong, who prepared us for adulthood.

When I recently received a copy of the book Mothers, just published by Running Press, I knew I had the perfect gift for my mother for this Mother’s Day.

This beautiful coffee table work celebrates mothers and motherhood in 60 fine art reproductions from the world’s greatest museums and galleries and thoughtful quotations from well-known people, such as authors, philosophers, scientists, U.S. presidents, feminists, musicians. Some of the quotations are inspirational, warm and poignant, while others, such as those of the late columnist Erma Bombeck and comedians Roseanne Barr and Gilda Radner, are hilarious.

Mothers is divided into four sections, “Anticipation,” “Newborns,” “Children” and “Personal Reflection.”

Below are some of my favorite quotations from the book:

“There is an amazed curiosity in every young mother. It is strangely miraculous to see and to hold a living being formed within oneself and issued forth from oneself.” _ Simone de Beauvoir, French writer

“The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant _ and to let the air out of the tires.” _ Dorothy Parker, American writer

“Your children are always your “babies’ even if they have gray hair.” _ Janet Leigh, American actor

“The greatest lessons I have ever learned were at my mother’s knees. . . . All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” _ Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States

“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.” _ Mark Twain, American writer and humorist

“If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.” _ Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, American first lady

“Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be president, but they don’t want them to become politicians in the process.” _ John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States

“A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.” _ Irish proverb

“I know how to do anything _ I’m a mom.” _ Roseanne Barr, American comedian

“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.” _ Oprah Winfrey, American TV host

“Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own.” _ Aristotle, Greek philosopher

“Making the decision to have a child _ it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” _ Elizabeth Stone, American journalist and author

“The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.” _ Henry Ward Beecher, American cleric

“Motherhood _ the second oldest profession and the biggest on-the-job training program.” _ Erma Bombeck

“A woman who can cope with the terrible twos can cope with anything.” _ Unknown

“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” _ Unknown

“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” _ Barbara Kingsolver, American writer

“Before becoming a mother I had a hundred theories on how to bring up children. Now I have seven children and only one theory: love them, especially when they least deserve to be loved.” _ Kate Samperi

Sunday is Mother’s Day. If your mother is alive, as mine is, tell her how much you love her. If she is no longer with you, celebrate her legacy with an act of love.