Message to Mom

Who taught you how to speak? No, it wasn't your Pre-School teachers, although they helped. Think farther back, to the warm, patient voice that held up toys and pictures and repeated their names with you. Remember the hands that helped you stack your letter blocks, the soothing figure you leaned against while turning the cardboard pages of your very first books. That's right - we're talking about Mom. If you love words as much as we do, then the first person you should thank for your current linguistic ability is also the first woman you ever met.

Here at WinEveryGame, we're very aware of how much our moms have done for us. For everything from putting Band-Aids on our scrapes, to smiling through our high school graduations, to giving us endless support in all of our life goals (like wanting to be professional lexicographers - let's be honest, it's a tough field to break into), moms deserve our unwavering gratitude. Actually, what they really deserve is a butler to give them daily foot massages, a castle made of chocolate, and an all-expenses paid bungalow in Aruba, but since lexicographers don't exactly rake in the dough, we'll have to resort to other means. That's why, this Mother's Day, we've written this open letter to moms everywhere - in any family, at any age, and at any stage of raising their children. We want to thank them for everything they've done and will always continue to do…even if it's embarrassing. And because we're lexicographers, we just couldn't resist throwing in some vocabulary words, which may make your mama proud - if you use them right.

Dear Mom,

There's something we really need to get off our chests. It's been pretty clear for a while now that things haven't been exactly equal between us. The truth is, we've been pretty lacking in the gratitude department - heck, let's not sugar-coat it: we've behaved like ingrates. Oh, sure, we do the basics, calling every other week and kissing you on the cheek when we see you, but you deserve so much more than perfunctory attention. For all our lives you've taken on the onus of supporting us. Through every twist and turn, whether we've needed your sagacity during a deep personal crisis or just a sandwich packed for school, you've been a constant bolster. You soothe our fears and help us to feel confident; without a doubt, you bring out the best in us.

That's why, this Mother's Day, we really want to call attention to the best in you. The very act of raising a child requires a certain level of benevolence, of course, but there's a special type of empathy only a mother possesses. Mom, you have an incredible capacity for compassion. You understand our feelings sometimes better than we do, and we like to think that everything we know about kindness comes from watching you.

And the most incredible part of all this? It was all completely voluntary. Some might argue the role of biological instinct, but instinct alone doesn't change diapers or operate the Mom-Taxi. You're a thinking, reasoning person who decided to give nearly all the energy you have and whole years of your life to us, displaying a selfless, munificent spirit that we can never hope to match. It's easy to treat motherhood as something abstract, to praise that venerable institution because we're supposed to without thinking about the real women behind it. That's why we so often take for granted the things you've done for us. We can't promise we'll be perfect in remembering, but hopefully these words help to show that, no matter how our relationship changes, we will always hold you in a place of love.


The Lexicographers

P.S. The snacks you picked from the store last time were awesome. Can you please pick them up again?

Bolster: You'd never have become the independent, confident person you are today without Mom there to bolster you. This word means "to support, to fortify, or to augment," all of which your mom has been doing for you since you were first learning to walk. You can bolster something literally by either cushioning it or propping it up, but you can also bolster a person by providing comfort and assurance in times of need. The word can also serve as a noun, meaning that your mom can both bolster AND BE a bolster.

Empathy: But how did your mom get to be so good at bolstering you? How does she always find a way to understand your problems and figure out how to help you feel better? Raising children provides moms with a unique chance to master empathy: a deep, true compassion. Having empathy means being able to experience the emotions of others and thus coming to understand them. When your mom (or any other person) takes the time to really listen and puts in the effort to see things from your perspective, she's empathizing with you - something we should be especially grateful for on Mother's Day!

Ingrate: Let's imagine for a second that we're not doing anything for our moms this Mother's Day. No presents, no taking them out, not even a phone call…nothing. In that scenario, we'd be guilty of being lousy ingrates. An ingrate is someone who's callously unappreciative of something that they should be thankful for, like a mother's love. Just finding a way to let Mom know how much she means to you is a great leap away from being an ingrate.

Munificent: The common theme here, of course, is that your mom has given a lot to you; she's been incredibly munificent. Meaning "generous or known to give liberally," munificent is the perfect word to describe the woman who's always been willing to give you what you need. Not only did she provide you with food, clothes, and shelter as you grew up, your mom has likely also always been very munificent with her time and energy, doing things like sitting up with you when you were sick and taking your phone calls when you needed advice. Consider repaying a little of that munificence this Mother's Day!

Onus: Motherhood is one of the most monumental onuses there is. An onus is a weight or responsibility that one has to bear. It usually refers to a difficult task or duty, like the carrying of your mom's weirdly heavy handbag when you take her out to brunch (or your mom's obligation to feed, clothe, and teach you - still think that purse is heavy?). The word onus can also suggest a weighty blame or level of guilt. So unless you want the stigma of being an ingrate, don't forget that your mom was probably the person who took on the onus of things like potty-training you!

Sagacity: Sagacity may sound like a word that describes a droopy balloon, but it's actually far more complimentary. Sagacity means "wisdom" or "sound judgement;" it's great for referring to people who are experienced and good at making decisions or giving advice…people like moms, for instance. That's right - remember all those times you sought out her sage direction, looking for things like career advice, dating tips, and instructions about how to cook rice exactly how she always does? If it wasn't for our moms' sagacity, we'd have probably screwed up something big a long time ago!

Venerable: Mom's considerable knowledge and prominence in your life makes her downright venerable. Venerable is a word which means "esteemed" or "remarkable due to experience or accomplishments." But the word can also mean "respected due to great age," as in something like "a venerable old sage." So if you do decide to tell your mom she's venerable this Mother's Day, make sure she knows it's because of her munificence, empathy, and overall awesomeness (and that if you didn't know better, you'd think she was twenty-five).

A Happy Mother's Day to all Moms!