Earlier this week, PopChassid wrote “A Tribute to Mothers” on his blog. I suppressed the urge to post the link to my daughters’ Facebook walls.

It’s not that my children take my love for granted. It’s just that the love often gets overshadowed by discipline–both of which are necessary–and they fail to recognize that the latter is an aspect of Mother-love.

This post serves as my personal Defense of Mothers Act. I write not in my own defense, but in defense of and tribute to my mother. Now, decades later, I appreciate her insistence on proper elocution and daily efforts to make me speak clearly. Although I remember her refrain–I can hear it reverberating in my head–I can no longer recall what my four year old self felt when she said: “SMILE when you say I.” I’m sure that I was exasperated by her ongoing attempt to erase any trace of Staten Island accent. Last Shabbat, when the subject of regional accents came up at lunch, I did a pitch perfect “imitation” until I was laughing too hard to speak.  I caught my breath and acknowledged my mother’s discipline that I now realize was an expression of her love.

By the time I spoke to my mom, a few days later, I had forgotten to tell her about that conversation on Shabbat. I forgot to thank her. I hope that she reads this iDOMA and smiles knowingly: Mom, I SMILED every time while I read this piece aloud to check for typos.

And here’s a little something–in my own defense–just in case my daughters are reading:


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