Moms are awesome. But not just for always helping us with constant reminders to take Boomer for a walk, tidy our room or return our physics book to Mr. Baxter (done, I might add); it’s really the unspoken ways they teach us to be good people that deserves our gratitude.

“Ma, meatloaf!”

This wisecracking order shouted in the movie “Wedding Crashers” is something I would never have the audacity or guts to yell at my own mother. Even though I have a strong admiration for meatloaf, I respect and fear my mom far too much to ever order her around in such a way. Considering what she does for me already, I’m fairly certain I would send myself to my room for that kind of talk. 

You see, moms are awesome. But not just for always helping us with constant reminders to take Boomer for a walk, tidy our room or return our physics book to Mr. Baxter (done, I might add); it’s really the unspoken ways they teach us to be good people that deserves our gratitude.

My appreciation goes even further than my own mother. There have been numerous teachers who have supported my fellow classmates and me in our studies and future goals that stretch beyond academics. These maternal figures have played a large role in shaping our formative years by pushing us to show up on time, finish what we start and be respectful to ourselves and others. They have been looking over our shoulder and cheering us on after a job well done, even if we colored outside the lines.

Life lessons also have been passed down to me by my two wonderful grandmothers, Mary Sue and Shirley. Grandma Mary Sue taught me how to be patient (forgot to pick me up at Silas once or twice), develop a quick sense of humor and enjoy onions. Grandma Shirley’s delivery of chicken and noodles to her buddies when they are sick, the importance of chewing food 27 times (never quite got the hang of that one) and her love of nature are examples I hope to emulate in my own life.

Grandmas love us when we receive a one out of five score on our AP exams. They love us even when we miss the big shot to win the conference title. Heck, they’ll even pride themselves on being our “No. 1 fan.”

They love us on the meanest of Mondays clear through Saturday, get up early on Sunday and start loving us all over again. Now tell me, doesn’t that one-of-a-kind dedication deserve a holiday? You’re darn right it does.

So, my fellow classmates, teenagers, sons and daughters in general, let’s show some love for mom, grandma, godmother, aunt and whoever has mothered you through your journey in life.

When you hustle out the door at 7:39 a.m. and your mom wishes you a good day, take the time to wish her one, too. In the long run, it’s worth the tardy warning. Oh, and you know how she’s always asking how your day was at school? Next time, answer with something a little more informative and interesting than an apathetic, “fine.”  She asks not because she has to, but because she cares. 

Mother’s Day is certainly a necessary holiday, but it’s important to remember to keep the gratitude alive all year. The next time you want somebody to make you a sandwich, do it yourself. And while you’re at it, offer your mom one with a little something extra on it. “Ma, meatloaf?”

Register-Mail contributor Jane Simkins is a senior at Galesburg High School in Galesburg, Ill.