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What I'd like my mom to know

May 3, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps  </span>
    In some of the world's toughest places, including Niger, we're helping mothers and their children not only survive, but flourish — including Mariama and 18-month-old Zouera. Photo: Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps

I generally try to find creative ways to celebrate Mother’s Day. I’ve dabbled in poetry, odd flower bouquets and homemade cards.

This year, I’m going with a gift in her honor. Every good mother wants her children to be safe. Every good mother worries about the infinite ways her sons or daughters could end up in harm’s way.

What I’d like my mom to know is this:

On multiple occasions I’ve avoided dangerous situations where I would have ended up being hurt by people with bad intentions, because you taught me to be aware of my surroundings and to listen to my intuition.

I’ve made my fair share of questionable decisions — I recently checked “learn to ride a motorcycle” off my to-do list! But I’ve also made some really good decisions, and credit my parents for that. There are women, children and men around the world who live in a different reality. As much as their parents may have taught them, they are caught in situations that are out of their control and that — too often — result in violent and hurtful encounters.

What amazes me is that despite these terrifying situations, people continue to persevere. I’m acknowledging my mother this year by supporting Mercy Corps’ programs, which empower people to increase security, justice and productivity in their communities.

Mom, Happy Mother’s Day and thank you for keeping me safe. And sorry about having colic for the first four months of my life!