In a pre-Mother’s Day op-ed in USA Today, Ann Romney describes a tradition that she and her husband, Mitt Romney, have shared since 1970, the year she became a mother.
On Mother’s Day, Mitt always brings me lilacs, a tradition he started the year I became a mother. When our home is filled with their fragrance, it reminds me of so many things, and stirs so many emotions. I think of my five sons and the women they married, whom I love as if I had raised them. They have become my daughters.
And I think about my mother. I remember she was a wonderful cook. I remember how much she loved my dad. Ours was a loving home, where I knew the light was always on. I wish I could tell her again how much I love her. The most trying time of my life was when I became the mother who had to take care of her as she was suffering in the last stages of ovarian cancer. The hardest thing for us all, I think, is the day we lose our moms.
The wife of the presumptive GOP nominee has been stepping up her campaign-trail presence in recent weeks, often speaking in personal terms about her husband’s character, her family’s experiences on the campaign trail and her own struggles with MS and breast cancer.
In the USA Today op-ed, she makes another personal revelation: she had never held a baby until the birth of her first son:
It’s hard to imagine now, but before the birth of my first child, I had never held a baby. Not once, not in my entire life. No baby at home to tend, no niece or nephew to babysit. So you can imagine, the day my first boy was born I felt woefully unprepared.
My mother took pity on me and stayed for two weeks, but that wasn’t nearly enough time. As she was preparing to leave, I cried like I was the baby. I told her that I wasn’t ready, that I had no idea what to do. In her smile I saw the truth. Ready or not, my son couldn’t wait, and somehow, I would make it through.
Of course, she was right. Some might say it was the mothering gene kicking in, the same one that every mom throughout history has possessed. Maybe. But I don’t think so. I was a good mom because my own mom was the best.
The full op-ed is here.