Washington Area Women's Foundation

Rebecca Roberts: I'm blessed to have many mothers in my life.

I am blessed to have many mothers in my life.

My mother-in-law, Flicky Hartman, will get on a plane at a moment’s notice, bad knees and all, to help take care of my three sons. She tries to limit herself to two suitcases (She knows I’ll poke fun at her if she packs a different pair of cute shoes for every outfit, but you can be sure she has them at home.), yet she manages to look gorgeous, even while she’s elbow-deep in little boys. She remembers every detail, from which kid doesn’t like ketchup to the names of the moms on the soccer sidelines to which color towels would look perfect in my powder room. And although she was very properly brought up by old-world parents, she tells a great racy joke.

My grandmother Dorothy Roberts, age 90, is one of the smartest women I know. I have discussed countless books with her (She has more patience for introspective, slow moving novels than I do.) and she got me hooked on crosswords. I do not share her talent for needlework, but I proudly display hers in my house. And although I love a good chase scene too much to share her anti-Hollywood movie snobbery, I do admire her highbrow taste in films.

My other grandmother, Lindy Boggs, age 93, can also tell a pretty good racy joke. And even when you sit in her lovely apartment, surrounded by photos of her with world leaders, she wants you to know how important you are. She is unfailingly positive, complimentary, life-affirming, and generous. She even thinks misbehaving little boys are hilarious. She also thinks it’s pretty funny when I hiss at them to mind their manners.

And my own mother, Cokie Roberts…well, it seems limiting to call her my mother. The number of people she mothers at any given time is uncountable. With her work for Save the Children, she has taken her mothering skills global. My mother will, on any given day, do a radio interview, write a chapter of a book, take her mother-in-law to the doctor, counsel a young friend, give a speech, roast a leg of lamb, take the car in for service, let my four-year-old tag along to a board meeting, stop by a friend’s book party, take her mother to a charity event, and write a newspaper column. Oh, and look spectacular doing it.  It makes me tired just to write about it.  But instead of making me worry I will never live up to that standard, she is constantly telling me how impressed she is with me, what a good mother I am, how good I am at my job, how pretty I look.  She is extraordinary.

What to give this crowd for Mothers’ Day?

How can another scarf or purse or photo of my boys possibly honor their motherhood?

Luckily, The Women’s Foundation’s Mothers’ Day card was exactly what I wanted – a way to help women and girls who have not been as fortunate as I have, in the names of these remarkable women.

When the card came in the mail, I asked for three more!

And now, all four of the mothers in my life (and my boys’ lives, and my husband’s life, and yours, too, if you let them meddle) can get a tiny taste of how much they mean to me.

I hope to make it an annual tradition. (Right now, at least two of them are reading this and worrying I won’t send any more photos of the boys. Don’t worry, I’ll keep ‘em coming.)

To honor the amazing women in your life, click here.

Rebecca Roberts is a co-chair of The Women’s Foundation’s 1K Club and a member of the Washington 100 network.

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