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A Mother’s Love, a Lifetime of Inspiration

May 12th, 2017     By Pam Farmer | Boys Town Foster Parent

Family, Parent-Child Relationships

As Mother’s Day approaches, greeting card stores are stocking up for shoppers looking for the perfect card to express their feelings about their mothers. My mother is considered the “Hallmark Queen,” a title she earned among our family members for remembering everyone’s special events by sending a card. It seems old fashioned now, with texts, emails and Twitter accounts that allow people to keep in touch, but a handwritten note in a beautiful card sends the message that someone went that extra mile to say, “I am thinking of you.”

Going the extra mile is what my mom has done every day of her 86 years. She was a working mom in every sense of the word. She held a full-time job for 32 years. She would tell you that her role as mother of five, though, was her most important job.

My mother’s example was the main reason I decided to become a foster parent. I was lucky to grow up in that tiny crowded home of seven with loving parents. Even though my mom had to work, my siblings and I always came first. She made sure, through words and deeds, that we always felt cared for and loved.

Years later, as my husband, Geoffrey, and I struggled to conceive, people asked me why I continued fertility treatments. I attributed it to wanting to give back to my future children what my parents had given to us. After many years of trying unsuccessfully to conceive, I realized that it did not matter whether my children were biological. I wanted to become a parent.

My husband and I later adopted a child, and I recall thinking, why did I wait so long? There is no difference in the love and devotion you give or feel for an adopted child.

After parenting our child, I still felt I had many more years to give to other children. When Boys Town presented the opportunity for us to foster children in a campus home, Geoffrey and I took the plunge. It has been a blessing. Helping teens in need has been the most rewarding time of my life.

I wrote the following about my mom for Mother’s Day. It expresses my view of motherhood. Each of us has something unique to bring to parenting. Boys Town gave Geoffrey and me the opportunity to do that with an organization devoted to placing the needs of children first.

Buttering Biscuits: A Mother’s Love

When I want to explain a mother’s true devotion and love, I tell people about mornings at my house while growing up in the ’50s and ’60s. My Mom would get up early before going off to work, lay out our clothes for the day and make breakfast for us. Most mornings would be eggs and biscuits, which she proceeded to butter while hot.

After we were grown, I asked my mom about this quirky extra step. She said, “I wanted you to have the biscuits hot with melted butter because they are better that way.” Yes, teaching children to do things on their own is a vital part of mothering. But Mom did the extras to remind us that, although she worked outside the home, we were her priority.

Years later, calling home from college, one of my brothers remarked that he was doing well and keeping up with the challenges thrown his way. “I even know how to butter my own biscuits, now, Mom,” he joked.

Buttering biscuits became the hallmark for me of how to show your love. Going that extra step, which only a mother devoted to putting others’ needs before her own, would take.

The most important idea my mom instilled in us was the art of helping others. Each of my siblings emerged from childhood with a giving heart and a burning desire to make a difference in the world. That doesn’t happen by accident. A missionary, a policeman, a coach, a teacher and a foster parent came out of that family of five kids from a mother and father who put their children’s needs first. 

Buttering biscuits, might seem inconsequential, but the message is enormous.

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