“On Mother's Day, Mitt always brings me lilacs. 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,” so says Ann Romney reminiscing about her Mother's Day tradition. The wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is now a grandmother.
“The gift I received this Mother's Day is two more wonderful grandchildren, twins, bringing the total to 18."
As difficult as it is to imagine, Ann Romney never held a baby until she had her first child. “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,” she writes in a piece for USA Today
To help care for her baby, she turned to her mother Lois. “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.”
Ann Romney’s mother was a good role model. Happily working as a cosmetics rep when she was thirty, she expected to be a career woman. She hadn’t expected to be married until she met Ann’s dad. “I suppose my mother was somewhat unusual for her time,” Ann writes.
Ann believes she is a good mother because of the lessons she learned from her own mother. “The same passion she had for her work she poured into being a mother. I never lacked for confidence or a sense of self-worth.”
Her mother encouraged Ann whether that “meant playing baseball and football with the boys [or] catching frogs and hunting for snakes out behind the house.” But what her mother loved most about Ann was “that I was always the ringleader, always more likely to get others into trouble than to follow along.”
Her mother’s love of Ann’s youthful troublemaking was great training for her own experiences raising five boys. “I won't sugarcoat it. There were times I wanted to tear my hair out. I can remember visiting my friends' houses, seeing their daughters' manners, the way they helped with the chores. Then I would return home to my boys, hoping only that my house was still intact.”
This is not lost on Mitt, who started a family tradition the year Ann became a mother.
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