By: Mary Fran Bontempo
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I want a macaroni Mother’s Day.

You know the ones. A little cherub-faced tot gifts mommy with a macaroni necklace and picture frame lovingly crafted in preschool along with a hand scrawled card proclaiming that you’re the “Best Mommy in the Whole Wide World!”

It’s not that I crave a macaroni necklace. And I’m pretty sure I still have every picture frame and crayoned missive delivered to me by my kids when they were small. Rather, it’s what the macaroni symbolizes.

When I was receiving macaroni for Mother’s Day, I was the “Best Mommy in the Whole Wide World.” So was every other mother in my kids’ pre-school classes. None of us minded sharing the title, because we all knew it was temporary and further, we knew that it wasn’t true.

We wanted it to be, and we tried to make it so, but as every mother knows, the days when our babies think we are the best at anything are fleeting.

More than that, though, is the knowledge that we all shared from the moment we became mothers—we were woefully unprepared for the task.

But when kids are little, as long as a mommy was there with a kiss, a hug, a snack and a band-aid, we met all the qualifications. And seeing that with a smile and a squeeze, we could cure all the world’s ills, we felt like the best, at least for a minute or two.

Now, however, the kids are grown, and though they, as well as we, would like to think that we can cure the world’s ills, broken hearts, unemployment, uncertain futures and life’s twists and turns don’t exactly respond to hugs and band-aids. And we mommies can no longer pretend, even for those few moments, that we have the answers.

Yet even if the remedies we used when the kids were small don’t fix every problem, I’m writing this with all three kids here, at home, the place where they still feel safest (and possibly the only place they can afford, but that’s okay, too).

Sure we drive each other crazy and everyone looks forward to the day when life is a little less tumultuous. But as Mother’s Day approaches, I’ll be thankful that even though they know most times I don’t have a clue, they still come to me, asking for guidance, or a snack, or a band-aid. Occasionally, that’s still enough to get all of us through the day.

So to all of the “Best Mommies in the Whole Wide World,” keep the faith. You may not be able to fix everything, but I’m guessing your kids still think you’re pretty great. Who knows, maybe this Mother’s Day, you’ll even get a macaroni picture frame.

Happy Mother’s Day to all our NRFGP readers!