A salute to mothers of all stripes.


My dear friend Camille once said to me, “I would lay down on the train tracks for my kids.” That’s the essence of motherhood, isn’t it, putting your child’s well-being ahead of your own. I’m sure I absorbed that message from my own mother, who in her quiet way always put her children first.

My mom, an elementary school teacher, was smart, kind, and a snappy dresser who had just the right shoes for every outfit. And she was fiercely proud of her kids. She loved me unconditionally, despite my not-inconsiderable failings, just as I love my children flaws and all. (Just kidding girls, you’re perfect.)

Irises descended from the ones in my grandma Anna’s Brooklyn garden. Their scent reminds me of happy Sundays at her house.

I was fortunate enough to have two incredible grandmothers too, who lived a block away from each other (that’s how my parents met). Both of them cooked up a storm, played poker like sharks, and adored all their grandchildren. And then there was my great-aunt Dot who taught me so much about life.

Here’s to birth mothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, and all women who make a difference in some lucky child’s life!