[Editors note: Just found this post in my drafts folder. I was so overwhelmed and sleep-deprived when I wrote it that I saved it for later proofing.] With our gala only a week away, I have reached the stage I’ll like to call...”unkept” (the most PC word I can think of). It’s from lack of sleep and stress - combined with the fact that I haven’t done any primping since December. So while some have sponsored the event, last night my mom sponsored my highlights. Yet another reminder that every hair on my head is thanks in part to my mom.

Growing up, our house was a neighborhood home-base. When my best friend Christina’s dad died when we were eight, our home became her latch-key house and Dorito refueling station. When Brian and Matt got in a huge bike accident in sixth grade, it was my mom who pulled Matt into our bathroom to mend and console him, careful to close the door so it was harder for us to hear him cry.

She was the PTA president, the swim team director and the Girl Scout Leader. I can still remember my mom’s voice as she yelled on a Scout Jamboree, “Erin, it is NOT ok to hide your leg in other peoples’ sleeping bags.” (Erin was born without a leg, but made up for it with really creative pranks).

Last time I was in Uganda visiting the health care promoters, I was struck by the similarities. Watching these women interact, I realized they were just like my own mom and her friends back home. They laughed together, looked out for one-another, and were completely unfazed by other children’s snot.

That’s just what moms do. They take 1,000 mini-actions every day to control the chaos and make things right. Whether it’s controlling their own kids or another parents, they have something in their DNA that enables them to say, “Hey, put your prosthetic leg back on RIGHT NOW and join us around this campfire.”

I’ve learned that this world is made up of a mom you are born to, and the ones who take you in along the way. The resiliency and character of a community is determined by the strength of its mothers.

I am not a mom, but if I am lucky enough to be one someday, I hope I turn out like mine.

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