Mothers have strong impact on children

Published 11:41 am Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Editorial by Chris Kovatch


As everyone knows, this past weekend was Mother’s Day, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some thoughts on a number of mothers who have helped me along the way in my 36 years on this planet. (Note: the mother of my children, my wife, told me I should have written this article last week so it could be read prior to Mother’s Day. That’s one thing I love about my relationship with her….she isn’t scared to share her thoughts and opinions with me. I receive them well most of the time.)

So it only makes sense to start at the beginning with my mom. From the start, I am sure my mom realized what an amazing child I was. I often tell my siblings that like most things in life, you rarely can top the original. I mean, how well did New Coke go over? Hence, the return to Coca-Cola Classic. All kidding aside, my mom was very focused on my siblings and I and worked hard to ensure we would have every opportunity possible to excel. Sacrifices were made to allow all of us to attend private school as she had. The value of this educational route was immeasurable to her. Any activity that we expressed interest in, she made sure we were able to fully participate in. My mom has always expressed a sense of determination and focus in achieving her goals, and I am sure that’s where I get a lot of my personality. (My wife would call it stubbornness, but I prefer the term ‘dedication’.) As with any parent/child relationship, there were speed bumps. I felt sure I knew the answer to everything, more often than not, I probably fell short of that bar. We butted heads rather frequently as I entered my teenage years, but that’s to be expected from two strong personalities. I am blessed with that same scenario with my oldest, Jackson. Looking back, I do know that in each of those disputes, what my mom saw, as my best interests were always forefront. In some of those scenarios, I felt my view was the correct one, but I don’t doubt my mom felt the same way about hers. Comments about my being the guinea pig as the first child are mentioned frequently and I see Jackson in that same role. I make good calls and I make bad ones, but Jackson’s best interests are always at the core.

I was very fortunate to have two amazing grandmothers that impacted me in many ways. I believe my love for big families, great food, gardening, and spending time at the lake all originated from my time spent with them. They both set great examples of what family means. It may not always be the cookie cutter, made for TV concept that is engrained in our minds as the definition of a family. They taught me that family is friends and neighbors; those who truly care for you and are there for you when you need the most. I still regularly think back on the families who made up the neighborhood on Sparrow Street in Pinehurst for the McNamaras or the families up at the lake for the Hoseas. That is part of what family means to me.

I have also been blessed with mother through marriage. I did correctly utilize the term blessed and most days it is the truth. <it’s ok to laugh here>. I first met Rose Thayer when I worked at the movie theater when I was 16. Rose and Christi had come to see a movie, as is their annual Mother’s Day tradition. (In case you were wondering, it was The Fifth Element.) It was a few weeks later when Christi brought her younger sister Lori to see Jurassic Park and it was sold out that I formally asked her out on a date. From that day forward as I slowly became a member of the Thayer family, I learned another view of what a mother is. When it was clear that I was going to be sticking around, I was quickly adopted as one of Rose’s kids. One time when I went on a family trip to Las Vegas with them, I kept getting bumped off the return flight because I had a different last name. Rose took matters into her own hands and convinced the airline that I was her kid and that we needed to all be on the same flight. I also got to see a mother that was into all the new tech gadgets just like I was. I saw a mom that loved her three girls fiercely and would do anything for them. Even though our family has been affected by a number of challenges over the past few years, never once did I doubt Rose’s devotion and focus to her family.

Finally, I come to the mother I get to do life with, the mother of my kids and the love of my life, Christi Jean. I am sure she will attest that I am often just as bad as the kids are, especially when it comes to illness. All I am going to say is that man colds are a real thing and it really does feel like the world is ending. End of discussion.

What I love most about Christi in her role of mother is how fiercely protective she is of our children. She seems to know exactly what each child needs emotionally on any given day and is quick to be there for it. Should one of her babies be attacked in some form or fashion, she is quick to become their protector. (Note: though her stature is small, she is a force to be reckoned with. Consider yourself warned) She loves all of her babies with the same unconditional love, whether biological or adopted. Her role as a mother doesn’t end at our children, as all of her students at the dance studio are her children as well. She celebrates in their successes, cries with them when they are hurt, and offers advice to them when they are unsure of what to do. What I love most about Christi is her devotion to children. She works hard to protect their innocence and makes sure they get to be kids for as long as they can.

There are many other mothers that have helped me become who I am today and I am grateful for the impact they made and continue to make on my life. I truly believe it is important to realize who influences our lives and take every opportunity to utilize that impact to become a better person.