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Unconditional and unconventional

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By Carolyn Risner

I am not at all the maternal type. I'm too selfish, too distant, too "suck it up and move on"-like to be called a nurturing pillar of motherhood.

And yet I have three children.

Like many of you, I grew up watching Donna Reed, Harriet Nelson and June Cleaver (in reruns, mind you) as they set the example for future generations what a woman's role was in the home.

June, with her ever-present pearls, could do all the cleaning, chores and errands, spend an afternoon playing bridge and still have freshly baked cookies for Wally and Beaver when they came home from school-and all with a smile on her perfectly made up face.

I am not June Cleaver. I'm not exactly Roseanne Barr either.

I may not vacuum in heels and pearls (well, maybe occasionally I do), but I learned the basic tenet of mothering from my own mother: to love unconditionally.

That's easy to say, but not as easy to put into practice.

You cannot say, "I will love you if you clean your room, quit biting your nails, date someone else, attend the college of my choice, stop fighting with your siblings . . ." The list is endless.


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