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Fifth-graders, teachers reflect on why their mothers are special to them

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — With Mother’s Day fast approaching, students and teachers at Zippel Elementary School came up with a way to express what makes their mothers special in their lives.

On Friday, May 3, fifth-grade teachers Robin Norsworthy and Melissa Buck set up a large yellow backdrop decorated with colorful tissue paper flowers, which bore the phrase “I love you because … ”

Students in both classrooms completed the sentence on a small white board and had their photos taken with their sayings. The children will use their photos to create special gifts for their mothers.

“In the past we’ve used the photos to make cards or magnets,” Norsworthy said.

Rhianna Desjardins, a student in Norsworthy’s classroom, wrote on her message board, “You’re my best friend and you’ll always be there for me.”

“My mom does everything for me and she supports me in everything that I do,” Desjardins said, before getting her picture taken.

Her classmate Lane Carmichael said that his family typically goes out to dinner in celebration of Mother’s Day. For him the best parts about the holiday, which falls on Sunday, May 12, this year, are spending time with his mother and letting her know how much he cares.

In his message to his mother Carmichael wrote, “You support me when I need you most and you are always there for me when I need a hug.”

Courtney Dockham, a student from Buck’s classroom, said that in addition to a special dinner her family often goes to her grandmother’s house to celebrate Mother’s Day.

“She’s a great mom because she helps me out with everything,” Dockham said about her mother.

In finishing the sentence, “I love you because . . . ” Dockham wrote, “You bought our family a house. If you were not here I wouldn’t be living in a house. I love you with all my heart.”

Reading their students’ kind words triggered special memories Norsworthy and Buck have made with their own mothers.Norsworthy remembered that when she was growing up she and her siblings would give their mother handmade cards and spend quality time together on Mother’s Day.

They also tried, unsuccessfully, to bake their mother a special treat.

“The four of us would bake a cake ourselves, which was always disastrous,” Norsworthy said. “But she always ate it every year.”

Now Norsworthy has three daughters and eight grandchildren and enjoys getting the entire family, including her mother, together on Mother’s Day for a meal.

“It’s a special feeling to have four generations together in the same room,” Norsworthy said. “We aren’t able to get together very often, but want to keep the tradition going.”

Buck noted that for her family Mother’s Day is just one of the many occasions they celebrate in early May. Buck’s and her father’s birthdays are five days apart, right before the holiday. Since Mother’s Day falls during planting season — her father is a potato farmer — the family chooses a day to celebrate all three milestones that varies every year depending on the weather and her father’s work schedule.

Despite the difficulties of getting the entire family together, Buck said that Mother’s Day remains an important time for all of them. She is looking forward to passing on traditions of the holiday to her son Harrison, who is now 9 months old.

“I want him to know how important it is to set aside time for family whether it’s on Mother’s Day or just an ordinary day,” Buck said.

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