If your mother is no longer here, what would you say to her on this Mother’s Day if she were still alive?

Would you say, “Thank you for waiting up for me no matter how late I came home.” Most mothers I know always say they could not go to sleep until all their children were safely home in bed. Would you apologize because you forgot to take out the garbage and she ended up taking it out herself on a cold, snowy night? She would not want you to spend your days regretting the sins of omission and would probably say, “Oh, that’s OK. I know you were busy.”

Mothers are probably the most forgiving people in our lives.

Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote: “Youth fades, love droops, the leaves of friendship fall. A mother’s secret hope outlives them all.”

Maybe Ann Romney felt that way and that is why she chose to be a stay-at-home mom. Most of us know of the remark made about her that she never worked a day in her life. Tell that to a woman who has raised a family and performed all the mundane tasks that go with it.

The importance of shaping young lives and turning them into useful citizens of tomorrow cannot be overstated.

I chose to stay home, too, when my son and daughter were born. We were not as well off as Mrs. Romney and could have used my salary. Most of our friends lived in two-story Colonial homes while we had a small three-bedroom tri-level home. It was a very happy home. We were more concerned with life’s intangibles than impressing people with a Better Homes and Gardens-type domicile.

Friends who knew me well often remarked that they could not believe I was happy staying home with my children. I could not have been happier and never regretted it; I was always thankful that I did it.

I realize that circumstances do not always allow mothers to remain at home and I sympathize with anyone who did not have the privilege of seeing her babies take first steps or hear them utter first words.

By remaining home and raising your own children, the following quote by author Dorothy Canfield Fisher might come true: “A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary.”

Happy Mother’s Day.