When asked what superpower they would like to possess most people answer with things like the ability to fly, to be invisible or some other amazing trait.
The superpowers to covet are the natural traits of a mother. Sure, mothers can’t fly or morph into other beings, but they have what we love, admire and want to emulate. How powerful they are with their nuturing, their nursing, their creativity, their empathy and of course their ferocity when it comes to their children. Those are realistic super powers to possess.
Until her last breath, every mother is a teacher and defender from the day their child is born. What a child knows about the world generally comes from what they learn from their mother. Every child should feel safe with a mother who watches over and secures them. Is there anything more ferious in the nature world than a mother whose child is threatened?
Some mothers are friends with their children, which is a wonderful relationhip to have with grown offspring. During the years when a kid is living under the roof of their parents, isn’t it more important that they have discipline, boundaries and values?
My mother is a friend, but she is always my mom first. And she definitely was the mother when I and my siblings were growing up. She had expectations from her children and when we really stepped over the line, the wood spoon or dad’s belt was available for corrective measures.
We are all products of our background and experience. At home, how we are raised, what we are taught and how our wants and wishes are answered creates the foundation of a person who grows into a productive, loving adult. I am a product of a two-parent household. Dad worked, mom was in charge of the domestic homefront, which was what most households looked like at that time.
My mother was like millions of others. She prepared three meals a day for her family. She sewed, knitted and crocheted. She baked for school events and was a heck of a den mother for our local Boy Scout troop. And she was curious, in my mind one of the best traits a person can have. When the family went for weekend drives (all seven of us fit comfortably in a Volkswagen Bettle), it was mom who said, “I wonder where that road goes?” And we’d find out.
With a mother possessing a strong curiousty streak and a journalist father, it is no wonder all the Zaitz children exhibit the same need to know and learn.
We Zaitz children have become who we are today because of the superpowers of our mother. She nutured our interests, which were as varied then as today. With a Lucille Ball-esque wit and Midwest common sense, she taught us how to make things that fueled our overactive imaginations. We empathize with other people, whatever their challenges. We know that we are not the center of the universe, even though mom thinks we are all special.
Every mother is a superhero. They stand astride their world, defending their brood against evil and embracing the good.
(Lyndon Zaitz is publisher of the Keizertimes.)