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Happy Motherís Day, Belize!
To all the mothers in this country who battle sexism, cultural mores and religious expectations daily and still try their best to raise good, healthy kids, I salute you.

To all the single mothers in this country who become super human in their task to be both mother and father...plus breadwinner...to their children, this day is for you. To all the stepmothers who are unflinching in their task of helping to raise someone elseís kids, Happy Motherís Day to you. To all the single fathers in this country wishing they had a mate to share the workload with, kudos to you! To all the teachers in the schools who inadvertently become parents to our children, hats off to you. To all the grandmothers in this country who more often than not become the substitute Ďotherí parent to many of the nationís grandchildren, we owe you. To every single person in this country who has contributed even the most miniscule amount of time to steering a child ó any child ó towards the right path, we honor you.

Raising children is not easy. It is one of the most complex responsibilities parents face. There are manuals to fix just about anything in this world but there is no manual that describes EXACTLY how to raise a child. For the most part, it is a trial and error thing and then you hope and pray for the best. Children are blessed little creatures that go on to give their parents their best and sometimes their worst moments. Nothing in this life is as horrendous as watching your child of any age writing in pain, either emotional or physical. Still, the women of Belize trudge on every single day giving their all to the huge job that is parenting even while the world and even many of our Belizean men treat this noble task with much disrespect.

As a single parent myself, I can attest to the hardships of having to care through the night for a sick and feverish child while being equally sick and feverish myself. And then having to go to work the next day. And that would be just the tip of the iceberg. It is just one small example of the sacrifices the women of Belize make daily, some which are so huge that if they were recorded they would surely fill a library sure to make Mother Theresa proud.

I would like to dedicate this column to my mother, Ilna (Alamina) Auxillou, who has succeeded in being much more than a grandmother to my children. Although I may not say it as often as I should, my mother has been an incredible source of security and comfort. She is consistently a guiding factor, helping out many times with nothing but the disrespect of last minute notice. And she has come through like the trooper that she is more times than I can count. Mother, for all the times I have had to lean on you and you have been there for me, I dedicate this day to you. To all the other women who have helped to shape my life and the lives of my children positively, much respect to you.

Belize, Happy Motherís Day to you! Feliz Dia de las Madres, Belice!

Questions or comments: Please write to me at wendy_auxillou@yahoo.com
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Wendy Auxillou
Auxillou Beach Suites
Caye Caulker, Belize
www.auxilloubeachsuites.com