“Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.”

— Robert A. Heinlein

It's Mother's Day, folks, so that means taking time out of your weekend to show a little appreciation to the woman that bore you — and also to the women that helped raise you.

True, while Mrs. Molloy spent nine months trying to hatch my little self, it took a whole slew of women to keep me on the straight and narrow. Some of the biggest motherly influences in my life were my teachers in elementary and high school that I can only assume switched out their coffee for something a bit more stronger after spending any amount of time trying, often through gnashed teeth, to teach me anything. It wasn't that I was a bad kid, or student, it's just that even from a young age I always had this odd habit of questioning everything that has ever been told to me.

While that might be a fine trait to have when you're an enterprising adult it translates into a right pain in the keister for any academic trying to teach me how to read. My line of questioning did oftentimes hold some merit as I still stand by my theory that the silent "k" is actually a dark conspiracy made to make homework all the more difficult. Seriously, knack, knock and knowledge all have it in them yet none of them kneed it. Did you see what I did there? I rest my case.

And don't even get me started on my thoughts about why the words comb, bomb and womb while basically spelled the same are pronounced completely different. Or how about how "floor" has two "Os" but "more" only gets one. How is that even possible? Shouldn't that be reversed? Better yet, explain "trouble” and “bubble.” Sure they rhyme, but the letters don't match up. I was probably too busy tasting the paste to make anything worth putting up on the refrigerator door, but that doesn't solve the riddle that was English to me.

Yes, raising a child is one of the hardest jobs there is, and I certainly didn't make it any easier for the ladies in my life, but the thing about of planting a seed, in knowledge or otherwise, is that it may not bear fruit until after a few seasons have passed. So even though I brought many a teacher to tears, their efforts were not in vain. To those who had to count to 10 every time they turned from the chalkboard, please know that, ironically, I became a writer. People actually pay me to put words together.

Hallmark doesn't make a card that could ever express the lessons these ladies taught me, but what I can say is quite sincerely "thank you." Though you didn't provide my birth, you did supply my worth, and for that alone I say happy Mother's Day.

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Auburn native Bradley Molloy’s column appears here each Sunday. He can be reached at lovonian@hotmail.com