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My Three Mothers...apparently I needed that many

To all the moms out there – We want to wish you the most sincerely beautiful weekend – filled with love and your loved ones. We know you work 24/7/365 – so to save a sweet message of gratitude for one day seems – I don’t know – inadequate?  You have your own dreams, heartaches, joys, and worries to balance every day with the pure functions that come with being a mom.  Trust me, we are moms too.  In truth, a giant part of what makes Mer|Sea successful is all the other amazing moms in our office.  These are the rock stars that really get things done!  Multi-tasking thinkers who follow through to the end, moms are a secret weapon in today’s workforce – and certainly ours. 


          Melanie       maggie and jan       Sarah

                  Liz and Melanie                      Maggie and Jan                           Sarah


We sit in what we call the ‘bullpen’ that is basically one open room with desks lining the perimeter all facing the center of the room. We discuss different aspects of the business ranging from inventory and accounting to customer service and shipping.  On occasion, this bullpen becomes a place that is part Dr. Spock and part Dr. Seuss.  This layout allows us to take moments when we chat about our personal lives.  Between all of us, we have 20+ kids ranging from almost newborn to just over 30. We cover issues from colic to MIP’s…and just like business, some issues are more fun and easy to solve than others.  They are terrific moms and we wish them an amazing day – but should do this everyday because we are so grateful to them. 




When I say I had three mothers – I am not exaggerating.  That is how many I needed, apparently. At times, my grandmother and great-grandmother played more heavily into my everyday life than my own mom.   Each of them had their own distinct gifts of wisdom and style so it’s hard to imagine how different my life would have been without this ‘village’ set up.


My great-grandmother, Mama, prized structure and discipline.  These were the gods that ruled the daytime hours.  My dependable routine meant having breakfast with some mega form of fiber like prune juice, as "regularity" was her daily concern for everyone.  She loved sweets but it usually involved some un-fun food from a bygone era.  She made sure my day always ended with brushing my teeth and washing my feet before hopping into bed.  No ‘potty’ feet on her clean white sheets.  Boredom was not a cry-worthy feeling to her so needless to say I know how to entertain myself, still love clean feet on sheets…and have a natural aversion to prunes, Fig Newtons, rum raisin ice cream, and Texas fruitcake.




My grandmother, Mim, was a pint-sized spitfire who preached equality, drive and above all competency.  Widowed in her forties with a young, intellectually challenged third child, my grandmother was a life-force who took care of the real estate company my grandfather had started and she made it hum in an age when women were not CEO’s, Presidents or Founders.  She was an original boss-babe for sure.  She had no time for bias of any sort or frivolous activities.   Merit and hard work were the only way in her book and I still play by those rules.  Needless to say, from Mim, I was made to understand responsibility, duty and how to read a balance sheet. 



My own mom was the creative wonder in this trio. Her love for history, reading, writing and astrology were all passed to me.  Lina loves for her to come up to Kansas City - especially when mercury is moving into retrograde!  She encouraged me to express myself through artistic endeavors.  I am pretty sure she had to wrestle my great grandmother when I chose to wear tap shoes to school instead of sneakers because she believed individuality flourished that way.


mom        mom2


My grandmother and great-grandmother overshadowed her in the obvious parenting skills but she gave me the most special way to view the world.  My mom is about to have her debut in her first play at 77 – proving it’s never too late.   She has an ever-widening circle of friends even as she loses some to age and illness.  Her mindset is full of youth and promise when it comes to making friends and trying new things. She loves to travel and when circumstances have prevented her from traveling as much as she might like – she picks up a book and the world becomes her oyster.  So on this Mother’s Day – my deepest thanks to you, Mom.  You have taught me that resilience from life’s curveballs should not result in bitterness, that kindness should be practiced daily and ultimately, that happiness comes from within.  Not every mom can teach these things but wouldn't the world be a better place if they could? :) 


I simply can’t resist including a piece written by the one and only Erma Bombeck. 


Happy Happy Mother’s Day everyone! 

 xoxo Melanie


When God Created Mothers

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of "overtime" when the angel appeared and said. "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one." 

And the Lord said, "Have you read the specs on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts...all-replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands." 

The angel shook her head slowly and said. "Six pairs of hands.... no way." 

"It's not the hands that are causing me problems,"  said the Lord, "it's the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have." 

"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel. 

The Lord nodded.  "One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, 'What are you kids doing in there?' when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. 'I understand and I love you' without so much as uttering a word." 

"Lord," said the angel touching his sleeve gently, "Get some rest tomorrow...." 

"I can't," said the Lord, "I'm so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick...can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger...and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower." 

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," she sighed. 

"But she's tough!" said the Lord excitedly. "You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure." 

"Can it think?" 

"Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise," said the Creator. 

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told You You were trying to push too much into this model." 

"It's not a leak," said the Lord, "It's a tear." 

"What's it for?" 

"It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride." 

"You are a genius, " said the angel. 

The Lord looked somber. "I didn't put it there.” 

― Erma Bombeck



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