Video is Whitney Houston performing “The Greatest Love Of All”. Courtesy of YouTube – and the video just so happens to be at Easter time!
NOTE: I first published this back in May of 2011, at a digital magazine I founded “Nancy Welker Magazine”, which is no longer in publication. The entire magazine system, which was hosted by Press Publisher, is now being taken down permanently. I’m feeling a bit nostalgic I suppose. I was one of the first to ever call a site an “e-zine”, and let me tell you the changes that have taken place online in the past 8 or 10 years have been nothing short of epic.
The poll I refer to below was conducted on a Facebook page I had at the time, and also on “Twitter Moms”, which later became “Social Moms”.
I hope all of you moms out there enjoy reading this…….and Happy Easter!
Results of my poll.
From the moment we first learn we’re going to be a mom, we start thinking about the future and what life might hold for our child. It’s a normal thing. Worrying always goes with the motherhood territory, but hoping (and praying for sure!) is also a big part of the job.
Last month I conducted two polls and asked mothers, aunts, and female caregivers what they wanted most for the children in their lives. My question was:
“IF YOU COULD HAVE A WISH GRANTED FOR ONE THING FOR YOUR CHILD AS AN ADULT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?”
One question poll was posted on Facebook, where I received 112 votes, and one was on the Socialmoms network where I received answers from 7 moms. We all had our own ideas about what we might wish for most, and I think for all of us it was a tough call to say just one thing, because we really wish for a thousand great things, but even with our differing opinions, the love we have for our children is something that came through in each and every response.
The Answer In A Nutshell
Wanting our kids to be healthy was the #1 response. Close to it though, was happiness in work and relationships. Yet another, and one that struck an emotional chord with me and perhaps will with some of you as well, was respect.
Why would a mom wish for respect in particular?
Those of us who love a child who may not function exactly like other kids, whether it’s from autism, down syndrome, mobility, or any form of challenge that your child may be facing, the desire for him/her to go out into the world and be accepted by others is nonetheless there. Perhaps even more so.
Society has come a long way toward having a more positive attitude toward children with disabilities or illnesses. We as mothers are not expected to keep our special kids hidden away or refrain from talking about them. And yet, there still lingers a bit of uncertainty from those who do not know our kids or have any experience with children who might be “different”. The fear is still out there; even though it’s much less than it was a decade or so ago, when my boy was only 8 years old and beginning to show very clear signs of autism. As a mother, I have to say that seeing others treat my son with what I can only describe as caution, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through.
Respect is something none of us, children or adults, have to earn. It’s a birthright. And hands down the first thing we should expect to get from the world throughout all of our lives. No matter what.
Does it really take a village?
Yes. I think it does. And we’re all part of it, and that’s whether or not we’re actually parents. You see, every adult in the world is an example to kids. You don’t have to have children for them to look up to you and choose you as a role model. Our actions, our words, are imitated by children either now or later, and they can make a serious difference in the way that society works.
When a child is in a situation that is unfamiliar to him, such as when he meets a classmate who perhaps doesn’t speak as well as the other kids, or walk as well, or can’t play in the schoolyard during recess, he may not know how to handle it or what to say to that special child. That’s when he draws from his experience, and bases his actions on how he has seen the adults around him act.
The boy or girl who sees adults behave in a kind, compassionate manner toward children with disabilities is more likely to pass on such positive behavior to that special classmate. And that’s a fantastic thing!
What we want vs. what they need
Of course, as a mom you want your child to be successful in every happy way. Have work they love, a beautiful family life, and joy within themselves. All excellent things to be sure. And yet, we may be wise to take a moment and think about not just what we want for them, but what they need as well.
Kids need support from us, encouragement in all that they do, and the constant reminder that we are there for them no matter what, no matter how good they are at math or science or whether or not they get chosen for Varsity Soccer. Achievement in life is terrific, and winning can be very rewarding. Still, children most need our love behind them every step of the way, and throughout all of their lives. And when it comes right down to the nitty gritty – that’s the most important part of being a mom.
Thanks to everyone at SocialMoms and Facebook ( in my circle back in 2011) for their input!
MAIN PHOTO (left)
My son, Corbin, at age 22. He’s an autistic person, and still loves to color Easter Eggs!