Celebrate Mother’s Day: Special Moments that Last a Lifetime

Celebrate Mother’s Day: Special Moments that Last a Lifetime

At First3Years we know that a child’s early experiences not only last a lifetime–but they can shape who they become.  Parents, guardians, grandparents, aunts and uncles are often a part of that experience.

I was one of five children so my mother’s time and attention was spread thin. My two grandmothers helped my parents out so much, taking care of the children but most importantly spending one on time with each of us. Each grandmother took me on so many adventures, exposed me to the arts, fashion, cooking, helping those in need, and trips to beautiful parts of the country. The most important gift was their love, attention and time. It didn’t really matter what we did, I loved being with them. They were very different-one worked all of her life and the other was a homemaker. Through their life experiences and love, I learned so much and always knew how much they loved me! I reflect on my life and know my character was shaped by them. I was so blessed to have two such strong, loving women in my life.”

Anne Calhoun Duffy, First3Years Board Member

My mom was a homemaker while my brothers and I were growing up, dedicating all her time and efforts to us. I look back and think of her as a mama bear, with a fierce drive to protect us coupled with a powerful nurturing instinct. My family moved around quite a bit, and so my parents were my anchor in each new place, what kept me grounded as I set out on each new adventure and established each new connection. 

I have a strong memory of my mother from when we lived in St. Louis, Missouri. I was around five or six years old. It was a rainy day, and we had pitched a tiny, child-sized tent in the backyard, which opened up to a field that would become a snowy plain come wintertime. I huddled in the little tent, hiding from the rain, while my mother kept a protective eye on me from inside the house. When I was hungry, she brought me spaghetti to eat inside my mini fortress. 

I remember feeling adventurous, being in the wilderness by myself as the rain pattered onto the tent. I also felt safe with the watchful eyes I knew would not let me come to harm or go hungry. My mama. Happy Mother’s Day to my loving, faithful, strong, beautiful mama bear, and all the women out there who bring out the adventure in their little wanderers.

– Isabel Tanco, First3Years Project Coordinator



“This is a favorite photo of my mom and my son at 12 months. He is the grandchild she had long waited for. She waited patiently, and lovingly. That’s Mom. Growing up she never pressured me about my grades, choosing a major in college, or a career. Throughout all my decisions, she let me fly (trust me, it wasn’t without worry) and come back when I needed her. Her patience and her acceptance of me at that very moment guides me in my own motherhood, which, trust me – hasn’t been without hiccups either. But Mom has role-modeled for me that this kind of love is possible.”

Soudary Kittivong-Greenbaum, First3Years Dir. of Advancement





During my mother’s pregnancy, it was apparent to her that there was very little difficulty in the pregnancy. The only issue that she had with me was that I constantly kicked her and I came out of the womb nearly eight pounds with a blue face because I couldn’t breathe due to the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck which caused a scare to my mother. Once the umbilical cord was untangled and the doctors gave me back to my mother she didn’t want to let go, which probably explains why she is over protective of me still to this day. My early experience with my mother can be represented in many ways: a blanket, stuffed animal pillow, my WWE action figures, and my bottle. The reason why I always had these items in my hand is because they all reminded me of my mother which makes a lot of sense because one of the things I learned is that babies are born primed to recognize their mother’s smell. Even though I don’t remember my first two years of life, I do know that some of my early experiences are going to stay with me for many years and will continue to influence me into adulthood in a positive way because of my mother. Thanks to my mom, my childhood was a time of enjoyment, innocence and playfulness.  Mom, thanks for taking care of me, now it’s my turn to take care of you.

Love you.

– Aaron Fields, First3Years Just Beginning Coordinator

As a single mom of two, my mother is the embodiment of sacrifice and determination. She never gave up on us or herself and the strides she has made over the last 20 years astounds me. She has always encouraged my brother and myself to be the best we could be, try our hardest every day, and that family is the most important thing in the world. One of my favorite memories, is the day she dropped me off at college. It is tradition at my college to have a candle lighting ceremony on your first night on campus. Student are surrounded by new friends and beaming parents, as candles are lit one by one across the campus. The whole event is quite surreal. It was after the ceremony that this moment was captured. A moment of joy and pride. But mostly what the picture speaks to me is the importance of family, sticking together and loving each other through thick and thin.

– Ashley Borthick, First3Years Engagement Coordinator

Ready to share? Send your memory to mar-comm@first3yearstx.org

As Mother’s Day approaches, we’re asking our First3Years family to share your favorite memories. Do you have a favorite memory of your mom or grandmother or the woman that played a key role in shaping who you are?  Perhaps, as a grandmother, you have a favorite memory of a grandchild.

Tell us about it! Share with us: Your name / Social Media handles / About how old were you? / What was special about it? / Why do you remember it so fondly?

Email your favorite memory of your mom to mar-comm@first3yearstx.org. You’re welcome to include a photo too. Your story and your photo may be selected to be featured on our web page and on social media on Mother’s Day Weekend 2017.  #First3YearsCelebrates #MothersDay2017 #SpecialMomentsLastaLifetime