Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to my wife, my mother, my grandmothers, and all of the mothers and grandmothers who have meant so much to their children and grandchildren. Your voices and sayings and teaching will always echo through our minds and help to shape and guide us as we encounter life’s challenges. That’s why you deserve a special day!


Some well-wishers left flowers for the statues of the two mothers who inhabit the “Garden of Peace” at St. Mary’s Church in our neighborhood. It’s a nice way to remember Mothers’ Day.

Those of us who have been fortunate to be shaped by great mothers and grandmothers, and to be married to great mothers, can’t really express just how important those women have been in our lives. All we can do is says thanks, enjoy the happy memories, and wish all mothers a happy Mothers’ Day.

Happy Mother’s Day!

img_5099Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there!  Happy Mother’s Day to my lovely wife, who has been an awesome mother, to my own dear mother and to my two wonderful grandmothers, who live forever in my thoughts (and in the expressions and sayings I use every day), and to the generations of mothers who preceded them whose love, hard work, nurturing, perseverance, sacrifice, and daily guidance were instrumental in producing the modern-day Webner clan.

You know, when you think about it, a card, some flowers, and a box of candy really don’t adequately recognize what mothers do for us and for our society.  But then, some debts really can’t be satisfied with material items.  All we can do for our mothers is love them right back, and try to live up to the standards they set and the instruction they provided.  And take a day like today to think about how much our mothers have meant, and try our best to show them we appreciate it.


Happy Mother’s Day!


I’ve been very lucky in the mothers department, so to help mark Mother’s Day, 2016, I wrote this bit of doggerel:

Thanks to the Mothers

Thanks to the mothers in all of our lives

Who loved us, hugged us and gave us high fives

Who bundled us up against every chill

00020295And helped push us to the top of the hill

Who dressed us up for the special occasions

And offered advice and friendly persuasions

Who kissed the boo-boos and wiped the tears

And endured the sullen teenage years

Who fretted and worried about every ill 

And somewhere, we know, are doing so still

Be they Grandma, or Mom, or my lovely wife

I’m grateful for the mothers I’ve had in my life!


Happy Mothers’ Day

00019488Here’s to the Moms, past and present,

who wiped your bottom and wiped your nose,

who kissed the boo-boo and made it better,

who cooked your favorite meal on your birthday,

who had the best Halloween candy on the block,

who cried when you went off to college, and

whose special kind of love is always there.

Happy Mothers’ Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to my lovely wife and the fabulous mother of our boys, to my own wonderful mother, to my Aunt Corinne, and to my sisters, my sisters-in-law, and the other mothers of the world. This day is for you — although one day of appreciation obviously isn’t sufficient! We thank you for your love, your patience, your help, your forgiveness, and the many other qualities that make mothers such an important part of our lives.

Happy Mother’s Day!

When Old Wisdom Is True Wisdom

IMG_3705I’ve always refrained from planting flowers until after Mothers’ Day because my mother told me that is what you should do.  This year, that piece of folk wisdom turned out to be wise, indeed, because the overnight temperature on Mothers’ Day dipped below freezing and left a significant layer of frost on the ground and on the boardwalk.  I’m not sure it would have been enough to kill or damage delicate summer flowers, but because I held off on planting I don’t have to worry about it.

Sometimes old sayings are worth crediting.  After our frosty Mothers’ Day experience, I’m now totally resolved not to jump off a cliff just because all of my friends do so.

On Mother’s Day, A Father’s Thoughts

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there, and to all of the lucky children and spouses who owe so much to the wonderful mothers in their families.

00019749-1I’ve been privileged to be the son of one great mother and the husband of another.  Although great mothers may differ in many respects, I suspect that they all share one crucial quality:  they have opened their hearts to their children, totally and unequivocally, so that their children’s welfare always is their paramount consideration.  Even when they are overwhelmed, or sick, or experiencing their own personal challenges, they are worried that their daughters and sons aren’t eating well, or are working too hard, or aren’t as happy with their lives as they possibly could be.  They are willing to do just about anything to help their children achieve optimal bliss because nothing is more important to them.  They say they don’t want us to worry about them, and they almost always truly mean it because they don’t want to add one scintilla to our everyday burdens.

We’ve all heard stories of mothers who, in moments of extraordinary strain and stress, have done extraordinary things like lifting too-heavy objects off children pinned beneath.  I’m not surprised by those stories.  There is something awesomely powerful about the mother-child bond and the love that bubbles forever in a mother’s heart.  If you are the object of that love, it is an amazing and humbling thing.

A Mother’s Day Assortment

IMG_3689Mom asked for a new batch of cookies — just in time for Mother’s Day — and what dutiful son can refuse his mother?  She had a hankering for some iced sugar cookies, and I tried to choose icing colors that looked like spring, with pastel blues, greens, and pinks.  Of course, some chocolate-flavored icing made with Nestle’s Quik and some sprinkles can’t hurt, either.

Minding Mel Kiper For Mother’s Day

The NFL draft is underway.  It’s become a three-day extravaganza, which means we get more exposure to Mel Kiper, Jr. and his curious hairstyle than human beings should be expected to endure.

IMG_3664Little did I know that Mel not only is a know-it-all about the draft, he’s also happy to give his “picks” on other topics.  When I went on the ESPN website today, I was amazed to see an ad for a “gift finder” that featured Mel Kiper’s picks for Mother’s Day gifts.  Now you can delight your dear old mother or your lovely wife with a present that has the Mel Kiper seal of approval!  What’s next?  Mel’s grinning mug hawking websites that help you to find the perfect romantic getaway or to decide which college to attend?

I know it’s a joke, but still . . . anyone who relies on Mel Kiper for Mother’s Day ideas needs to step away from the draft board and re-engage with real life.

The Two Greatest Mothers In The History Of The World

This Mother’s Day, I want to take a moment to thank the two greatest mothers in the history of the world:  my mother, and my wife.

I knew my mother first, of course.  If I could somehow probe the recesses of my brain and call up my first memory, it would no doubt be of Mom’s face.  She was the center of the universe for a brood of five kids.  She taught us how to behave and treat grown-ups with politeness and respect, to wash behind our ears and to “put some elbow grease” into our household chores.  She made sure we got to doctor’s appointments and had school supplies and clean clothes.  She encouraged us in our successes and comforted us in our failures — and, in fact, she still does.

So much responsibility!  I knew it was a tough job, because one of my most distinct childhood memories was when my mother, that paragon of positivity, burst into tears after our bad behavior had finally gotten on her last nerve.  She sat down on a stoop that connected our kitchen to our living room and sobbed.  The effect on the kids was like a loud thunderclap on an otherwise clear summer day.  My God!  What had we done?  We quieted down immediately and sat down beside her, telling her we were sorry and promised never to do it again — which turned out to not be true, of course.

I got a different perspective on how hard it is to be a mother when Kish and I decided to have children.  So much studying to do, with books from T. Berry Brazelton and Dr. Spock and others about infants and their development, when they should start walking and talking, and how best to provide a secure yet stimulating environment!  And research on things like the safest cribs, and how you should lay children down to sleep.  Kish’s copies of these books were dog-eared, underlined, and highlighted weeks before Richard arrived.  And once he and Russell did arrive, Kish’s feelings of pride and worry and joy and concern about every step they took along the way to adulthood surged forward and were displayed, transparently and unabashedly, for all to see, every day and every night.

Those feelings remain as strong as ever, even though the boys have left the house.  They’re obviously never far from her mind, and as much as she might enjoy the company of me and the dogs, only the appearance of the kids can bring that special, happy look to her face.  They are, and will always be, the light of her life.  I guess that’s what being one of the best mothers in the world is all about.

Tonight the two greatest mothers in the history of the world will be together, with their entire families, to munch on some pizza and celebrate Mother’s Day.  For them, that will be the greatest Mother’s Day gift of all.

Thanks, Mom!

Today is Mother’s Day.  The states and Congress have formally recognized Mother’s Day for about 100 years, but people have been celebrating their mothers for a lot longer than that.  Today I wanted to say “thanks” to my mother, Agnes Neal Webner.

Mom in her 2010 Crazy Cap Cruise outfit

Thanks, Mom, for carrying me around for nine months!  Thanks for my name, which I’ve always liked.  Thanks for changing my diapers and for putting up with me when I was a squalling infant, and thanks for not slugging me when I was going through the “terrible twos” or being a jerky, insolent teenager.  Thanks for being understanding when I wet the bed.  Thanks for making me behave, but not coming down too hard on me when I broke my glasses for the thousandth time or goofed off instead of doing my chores.  Thanks for buying the kinds of breakfast cereal I really liked, and for letting me flip the pancakes on Sunday mornings, and for giving me that great bowling birthday party with my friends when I turned 10.

Thanks for being patient as I went through the dreadful teenage years.  Thanks for not laughing at my haircuts or my sad efforts to look cool or the weird outfit I wore for my high school senior picture in 1975.  Thanks for being nice to my friends.  Thanks for not worrying too much about me and letting me find my own way.  I always knew you were there, ready to help, if I needed you.
Thanks for my brother and sisters, and thanks for giving me individual attention and support even though I was one of five children who vied for your attention.  Thanks for cleaning my ridiculously dirty college apartment and for deciding, with Dad, to pay for my college and law school tuition.  Thanks for being so welcoming to Kish and to the other people who have joined our family.  Thanks for taking care of Richard when Russell was born, and for inviting the boys to come down and stay with you and Dad in your Florida condo.  They really enjoyed those trips.  And thanks for teaching me sayings that I still use, like “rise and shine” and “use a little elbow grease.”
Thanks for your generosity, and your sacrifices, and you unflinching love and support.  Thanks giving me my dimples and helping to shape my outlook about things.  Thanks for all that, and for so much more that you have done for me over the past 54 years.
Thanks, Mom!
Love, Bob

Applying Mom’s Wisdom To The Greek Debt Crisis

The dominoes set in motion by the Greek debt crisis totter and topple. The credit ratings of other European states with debt problems similar to those of Greece get revised downward, and the costs of servicing their debt soar.  Cracks in the facade of the European Union continue to appear, as the frugal states question bailing out the profligate borrower states — especially those with economies, and debt burdens, that are much larger in real terms than are found in Greece.  The value of the Euro drops like an anvil directed at Wile E. Coyote’s noggin.   Nervous creditors wonder if a wave of government bond defaults are in the future.  And, across the globe, stock market indices drop with sickening speed as investors question whether the world could be plunged into an even more severe recession.

It is clear that unsustainable and unsupportable government borrowing is what led to the Greek crisis and the dire predicaments of other European countries.  The choice for the United States is whether to chart a different course and start making serious spending cuts right now and or to continue our massive federal borrowing and potentially follow the Greeks and other European states into the debt abyss.

On this Mother’s Day, it seems appropriate to apply some of Mom’s wisdom to this issue.

We all remember the scenario.  You were a kid who wanted to get your Mom’s permission to do something.  She was not cooperating because she perceived, rightly, that it seemed like an ill-fated and stupidly risky venture.  As she resisted all of your persuasive powers, you eventually said:  “But Mom!  Everyone else is doing it!”  And her inevitable response was:  “If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you jump, too?”  That ended the argument — and usually, either right away or after a while, you knew deep down that your Mom’s judgment was the right call.

In the United States, we can listen to Mom or we can join other countries in jumping off the cliff.  I’m for listening to Mom.