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Remembering mothers of all kinds - Kathy Jefcoats

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 9, in case you've forgotten, missed the Hallmark cards commercials or the big reminder you've no doubt gotten from your mom or mother of your children, who may or may not be your wife. In this time of "my baby's momma," the grammatically incorrect way of referring to the woman who has borne your child out of wedlock n and sometimes out of a one-night stand n Mother's Day takes on a whole new meaning for a lot of folks.

I, for one, have a traditional set-up. My husband and I have four children, all born within our marriage, and are the children of similar unions. But the next generation doesn't seem to place as much importance on being married to have children as mine did. Actually, marriage was phasing out as an old-fashioned institution when I was in high school in the 1970s. It was during that time that we all learned that half of all marriages end in divorce. It was a scary time to get married but we did it and are still together almost 30 years later.

Our children are leading different lives. None of our daughters were married during their first pregnancy, although two married not long afterward. Our youngest, Amy, has never married and is raising her son, Michael, alone. She works hard and is also going to school to further her education to make an even better life for Michael since his father does not support him.

He is our first grandchild and turned 6 last Saturday. A smarter, more precious and beautiful child never existed until he was born. I expect great things from him. He and I have a special bond that started before he was born when I showered his mother not with toys but with books, a tradition that continues today. He loves to read.

Her twin, Michelle, is the mother of three. She and her husband live with the kids in Hawkinsville, which is too far away for my taste but it's their life. Her kids, too, are awesome, smart, beautiful and precious, none more so than Alliyah, our first granddaughter. Michelle's other children are Jared and Makayla n each so different from the other. Jared, the oldest and only boy, is all male and really takes after his dad, where Makayla, the baby, is a daredevil, high-spirited child.

Our oldest daughter, Beth, has one child, also named Michael, which makes family gatherings confusing. He was born six weeks after the first Michael, and I was present at his birth. His dad is in the Army and was in Korea when he was born. Of course, he is also smart and has the tremendous energy of his uncle, our son, Mark.

Mark is our only son and just recently became a father of a daughter, Hannah Marie, born Dec. 16. Mark and his wife, Celeste, married 11 days after Sept. 11, 2001, when the world was not as sure of itself as it had been in so many years past. I like Celeste as a person so I think we have a good relationship as in-laws. She's a good mother to my little Hannah, although I am sure she wishes she had the luxury of being able to stay home with her instead of having to work.

I've written before about my mother-in-law, whom I dearly love, but I do have a mother of my own. She lives in South Carolina so we do not visit much, although we e-mail each other every day. She and I are so different it is hard to look at her and realize that she is my mother. She insists on seeing the good in everyone and is very arts and crafts but because she is left-handed and I am not, she was never able to teach me how to crochet. But she did teach me to read and write before I started kindergarten, which I am sure enabled me to skip first grade and go into the second.

My mother was a typical 1960s mother n a bunch of stairstep kids and she didn't have to work. We didn't have a lot but my dad worked and my mother working to supplement his income was not a consideration. I am the oldest of five and I never knew a day when I came home from school to an empty house. I appreciate that.

So I want to say a Happy Mother's Day to the other mothers in my life n Claudia, Nicole, Karrel, Sherrie and Christina. I love you all and think you're great mothers.

Kathy Jefcoats is the public safety reporter for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or by e-mail at kjefcoats@henryherald.com.