When I try to gauge, just for the sake of gauging, whether or not I could take that giant leap toward motherhood, I ask myself, “would I give up that last bit of bright cherry pie or mint chocolate chip ice cream or mashed potatoes with a pool of rich gravy?” I ask that question because of a childhood moment, when my mom gave me the last of her mashed potatoes (which I probably drowned in gravy). From the naive perspective of little me, that sacrifice was HUGE!
I couldn’t imagine giving up my last mashed potatoes. No way! Years later, I know this was merely a snowflake on the iceberg of sacrifices my mother made for me. The question of “would I give up my mashed potatoes?” may seem too simple. However, it’s really a question of “would I devote myself to motherhood the way my mom did?” Of all the roles I may one day have, the role of mother is the one I will take the most seriously, and it’s because I am so fortunate to have a mother who gave herself 100% to her children!
There are so many questions I have for Regina the woman. There are so many aspects and stories from her life I do not know, but as her daughter, I know her well. Regina the mother is the most patient listening ear. She is the most generous and thoughtful person. She makes everyone feel special on their birthdays. She trusted and supported me to make decisions for myself, only wanting what was best for me, never wanting to control me.
For that freedom, I am immensely grateful… ever more grateful by the day when I hear friends tell of the ways their mothers imposed their choices. My mother is creative and humble. Her strength has been tested, but I have never seen her cower. Her petite frame cannot hide her fortitude. As her daughter, there are not enough words in the world or languages in which to say them, but I humbly offer my graciousness on this day devoted to mothers like her! Happy Mother’s Day Mom!
I once looked into the old eyes of a devoted sheepdog, and the love inside me welled beyond belief. I wanted to make the world a better place for that dog. At that moment, I tried to imagine the insurmountable feeling of love from mother to child, and it brought tears to my eyes. It may be the passage of time or the effects of biology, but that love amazes, inspires and humbles me more and more! I am one of the lucky ones. My mother changed the world by investing in my family. I am convinced we all need to honor and reinstate the importance of that role if we are to make major positive changes.
Recently, I found inspiration in Drew Dudley’s TEDx Toronto talk on Everyday Leadership (it’s a short video, give it a watch!). Dudley offers, “we celebrate birthdays where are all have to do is not die for 365 days, and yet we let people who have made our lives better walk around without knowing it.” In that vein, there are other mothers who have made a difference in my life, and they deserve to know it too!
To my own sisters, I applaud you!
This past Christmas, Tosha creatively foiled her children with joke presents- boxes filled with heavy, noisy items to keep them guessing. The kids grumbled a bit as we all laughed, but that creativity was really special. I know years from now, her kids will gather around a Christmas tree and recall the time they opened boxes of erasers or toys they already owned. That same Christmas, my niece gave my sister coupons for hugs. While hugging my sister, my niece said, “I made a lot of the coupons, but I don’t really care if you use them. I’ll hug you for free!” My heart welled with love and pride for my sister, and I blinked away the tears. Tosha, your devotion to your children is palpable, and I deeply respect you for it!
To Tonya, I am filled with awe and respect. I have admired your perseverance in a male dominated field and your examples of female independence. I have also watched with awe as you devoted your life to your daughter. The results may speak for themselves, but it bears saying anyway. You’ve raised a smart, thoughtful, polite daughter who has the entire world ahead of her!
To my oldest sister, you showed me so much of the world when I was little. You fostered my grammar obsessions with your speech lessons. You introduced me to the theater and art museums and secret gardens. My childhood was a richer place because of our magical adventures, and I am grateful for it!
To the “village,” you indeed helped raise me! I am grateful to those neighbors who treated me like one of their own, even caring for me when I was sick.
To the mommas-to-be who faithfully attend Bikram Yoga classes as their bodies change in miraculous ways, you are truly inspiring! How can I doubt my own physical potential when you exemplify such fierce focus?!?
To my dear friend Rumbi, I have felt mothered by your wisdom on many occasions. You are an old soul housed in a beautiful, youthful glow. Your strength is unfathomable, and there no words to fully describe the unfettered dedication to your twin boys (can we all just pause to imagine the energy required for twin boys?!?!). You inspire me!
To the mother of my special one, thank you! A smart, thoughtful, sensitive, optimistic man set on saving the world?!? Those men are few and far between, and I owe you many a thanks for bringing such a man into the world! Beyond raising such a gent, you welcomed me so sincerely into your home, and for that, I am truly grateful.
To My Mother and the Mothers in My Life,
I wish I could gather us all at a beautiful, rustic, wooden table, topped with dainty delicacies and gingery muffins. We would toast teacups to your sacrifice, devotion and love! For now, please accept my most humble gratitude for the lifelong role you all have exemplified. Happy Mother’s Day!
Quelcy Trenae Kogel
Ginger, Pear, White Chocolate Muffins
Makes 18 muffins
2 cups finely ground chestnut flour
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 eggs (local/free-range)
1/2 cup organic unsalted butter, browned
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon organic almond extract
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger
3 organic pears (2 overripe, 1 ripe), cut into chunks
1 cup chopped organic white chocolate
1 cup slivered almonds
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
Whip the eggs in a mixing bowl and then add the remaining wet ingredients.
Combine wet and dry mixes until well incorporated (the batter will be really thick).
Stir in the overripe pears (the batter will thin as the pears mush with stirring).
Gently mix in the firmer pear chunks, the white chocolate and 1/2 cup of the slivered almonds.
Pour the batter into lined muffin tins.
Place a slice of candied ginger on top of each muffin. Sprinkle each top with the remaining almonds and a dash of cinnamon.
Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 F (or until golden brown).
Cool on a wire rack before removing from the muffin tin.
Serve warm with drizzles of honey, and share with the important women and mothers in your life!