Happy Superhero’s Day

Published 8:05 pm Saturday, May 13, 2017

All around Suffolk this morning, mothers will pretend to have just awakened when their young children come crashing into their rooms with breakfast in bed. Then they will pretend the inexpertly concocted meals are the finest breakfast fare, while trying not to think of the mess that awaits around the corner in the kitchen.

Mothers, to be sure, are the original saints, and it is fitting that we set aside a day to honor them, even if many of us have done a poor job of it for so many years.

A popular story that goes around this time of year takes a look at all the time the average mother spends doing the things average mothers do and then attempts to put a dollar figure on all that toil. Laundry, shuttle services, cleaning, tutoring, cooking, medical triage, counseling and all those other things that children — and some fathers, for that matter — tend to take for granted would certainly come at a high price if mothers were actually paid for their work.

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According to salary.com, the average stay-at-home mom in 2016 did work that would have earned her more than $143,000 if she were being paid for it.

Actually we look at motherhood as a calling for which no paycheck could ever provide sufficient compensation. How does one put a price on the kisses that take away the sting of a scraped knee? How could Mom ever be paid sufficiently for school lunches packed with care, for sweet notes left on the counter, for words of encouragement when a BFF has betrayed you for the chance to hang out with the “cool kids”?

Moms are the superheroes that Captain America and crew wish they could be. And they do it all while disguised as ordinary women, far from the spotlight they hope one day will shine on their children.

Everybody knows Superman, and most of us even remember his alter-ego, Clark Kent. But how many of us remember that Clark’s adoptive mother was named Martha, much less that his biological mother, who died on planet Krypton, was named Lara. But Superman could never have been the man of character he became without the influence of both those women.

And so it is in real life, where mothers around the world give life to their children and then pour into them the very essence of that life. For so many of us, Mom is the reason we are who we are today.

How could we ever possibly repay Mom for that? Burnt toast and soggy cereal seem an unworthy offering in that light.

So we’re left with this: Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. We love you, and we appreciate all you have done and continue to do for us. You are our favorite superhero.