Even though Mother's Day was Sunday, May 8th, I wanted to take an extended look at mother's love and the gift of time.

They’re lined up in a row on old Boston cobblestones in the Public Garden: Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings. The iconic statue – based on Robert McCloskey’s classic “Make Way for Ducklings” -- illustrates a mother who wants only the best for her children as she searches for a safe place to live.  (Earl Martin Phalen, from Reach Out and Read)

We all want the best for our children.

I happened upon Mr. Phalen’s short article last Friday and appreciated his title, The Gift of Time.  He turned the topic of Mother’s Day gifts away from what mom receives to something a mom can give. It caught my attention because that’s an approach my mother would take.

I would like to be like her. She’s so good at giving. Considering there are seven of us children (and our families) along with our Dad, it almost goes without saying that she’s had a great deal of practice at the giving! I don’t hesitate to speak for my siblings that all of us are forever grateful for her love, for her giving heart, and for who she is.

Her generosity with the gift of time can’t be overrstated by her family. It boggles my mind to think of how life would be without having had that from her. All the way along it has convinced us that we matter; we know we rank high at the very top of her life’s Care-About List. And I want to add that it is important to us that she loves our father first.

The best gift is that of time. Spend time reading with your child. Spend time listening to your child. Spend time just watching your child or grandchild -- watch them play, smile, sleep, yawn, sing, laugh, eat, swing, walk. Call to hear their voice if you can. Marvel at the joy they’ve brought to your life, and let them know that.

Whatever your situation I wish you joy, even if it is possible only in happy memories of time spent together with loved ones. I sincerely hope that Mother’s Day 2011 was one of the best on record!