Adele Elliott: Oh, Mama!

May 9, 2009

Adele Elliott - [email protected]


Today we honor mothers of all sorts, and not a moment too soon. I''m not sure I could stomach another sticky-sweet ad featuring pink, cubic zirconia, hearts and corny text. Does anyone''s mother ever look like those models wearing inexpensive jewelry, and in rapture over a bottle of drug-store fragrance? 


Mother''s Day is also one of the busiest for high-priced brunches and overloaded phone lines. We had all better do something wonderful for her today, something with more of a "wow" factor than our siblings have conjured up. 


In spite of several weeks of warning, I still got my gifts off too late, destined to arrive on the inauspicious date of Tuesday, May 12. Oh well, I''m sure she will forgive me (as usual). In my defense, my mother lives in Oregon, a sort of Siberia to the postal service. I''ve gotten faster shipping to Brazil and Turkey. 


Truly, in spite of my grousing, mothers deserve all the accolades we can dream up. They made a lifetime commitment, one that is enduring, outliving most marriages. 


We''ve heard it a million times, "It takes a village to raise a child." (Of course, there are a few who appear to be raised by the village idiot.) But, we really know who did most of the work. The "village" gave up little to make sure we were clothed and fed. Most sacrifices were on a more intimate scale. 


"Mother" is a title of tribute. We have a "Mother Earth" and "Mother Nature." You never hear of the "Father of Invention" or the "Father Lode." There is, of course, "Father Time," but some would consider him a bad thing. 


(Yes, I know, we have a Father in heaven. But, remember who he chose to give birth to his son.) 


In Columbus, we have "Mother Goose." Everyone loves her unashamedly. She seems to belong to the children, but locals of every age claim her. That is the fate of motherhood, the job never ends. No matter our birth date, we are still our mother''s child. 


So many people contribute to creating the adults we become: teachers, coaches, relatives, spiritual leaders. In many ways those were part-time jobs. Mothers don''t get a day off, much as they deserve one. They are a combination of all of those, and a thousand other things. They remain our cheerleader and most loyal friend. 


So, I send a happy Mother''s Day wish to the parents of all children, those with two legs and with four. Anyone who nurtured a life merits praise and gratitude. Enjoy your brunch and your roses. I hope the perfume is pleasing and jewelry has lots of sparkle. 


Note to the children: Nothing we do could ever be enough. Let''s honor and revere these great ladies on some other days of the year (like maybe Tuesday, May 12). 


And a special Mother''s Day hug to Mary Elliott in Portland, Ore. We do not love you because you gave us life. We love you because of the life you gave us. Happy Mother''s Day and thank you! 


Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina. E-mail reaches her at adeleelliott

Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.