Ode to the “Second Mom”

Last February, I attended the funeral of one of my best friend’s mom.

Vicki was the childhood friend whose house, outside of my own, I spent more time at than any other. I’d often catch the bus to her stop after school where her mom, Ginny, would be waiting at the kitchen table with a glass of iced tea or sitting in the living room, curtains pulled dark, ready for some real-time gossip on the latest episode of Guiding Light.

Ginny was what you might call my “second mom.” I’m sure you have one too.

She was the mom who came on field trips when my own mom had to work, who bandaged my knees when I wrecked my bike in her driveway, who let me tag along at family events. She was the mom who insisted we go to church after a Saturday night sleepover, who gave me a Bible for my 10th birthday and whose pastor first introduced me to Jesus. She was the mom who sat with me late one night as I cried over the loss of a favorite cat – and got my own mom on the phone to help calm me down. She’s the mom whose mac-and-cheese recipe my own kids beg for to this day.

As I write this, I acknowledge that nothing compares to the sacrifice of my own mom — the thankless, nitty gritty job of the every day, teaching, encouraging, instructing, loving and supporting. My mom is one of the greatest influences in my life and I’ll tell her so this Sunday.

But today, for whatever reason, I’m thinking about all the “second moms” — the women in our lives who have allowed us to sit at their dinner tables and sleep in their basements, who drove us to school dances and volunteered in our classrooms, who listened to us cry over boys and teachers and mean girls, who allowed us to raid their refrigerators (without so much as a thank you); who came to our weddings, sat through our baby showers and held the hand of our own moms as they watched us become women ourselves.

Most likely, they didn’t know they were making a difference. And they probably didn’t think we were paying much attention.

But they were. And so were we.

So happy Mother’s Day . . . to my mom, to my second moms and to all of the women — moms or not — who have taken the time to see beyond the busyness of their own lives and loved me as their own.

You are beautiful, cherished and absolutely amazing.

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