▶ Watch Video: Amy Klobuchar celebrates her mom

Our commentary comes from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), whose latest book is “The Joy of Politics: Surviving Cancer, a Campaign, a Pandemic, an Insurrection, and Life’s Other Unexpected Curveballs” (St. Martin’s Press):

On this Mother’s Day, I’m thinking of my mom. She taught second grade in the Twin Cities suburbs until she was seventy years old.

Amy Klobuchar with her mother, Rose, in an undated photo. 

Family Photo

Her favorite unit to teach was the one on monarch butterflies. For days she would teach her students the science of metamorphosis as they watched the caterpillar form its chrysalis. With the kids’ wide-eyed excitement building every hour, it all culminated on the big “release day,” when my mom would take the class outside and, surrounded by thirty adoring second graders, release the glorious monarch to the skies.

“Fly, butterfly, fly!” she would say.

To this day, years after we lost her, her students, now with kids of their own, still come up to me on the street and tell me she was their favorite teacher. And there are always so many great stories.

At my mom’s visitation, one mother, in-between sobs, standing with her arm around her disabled son, told me how much her son loved having my mom as his second-grade teacher and how the monarch butterfly unit was his best school memory. She recalled how every year, on the day she released the butterfly, my mom would dress up as a monarch, in black tights, orange wings, antennas, and a sign that read: “To Mexico or Bust.” Then, she would go grocery shopping after school in the same outfit.

I had known about the shopping-in-the-outfit story, but until that moment, I hadn’t known why my mom went to that particular store. It was because the woman’s son got a job at the store bagging groceries after he graduated. For years my mom would go to that store in her monarch outfit, just to stand in his line and give him a big hug.

That’s why she went to the grocery store. That was my mom.

So today, I’m thinking of my mom, and all of the moms out there, who do so much for our families.

Happy Mother’s Day!

See also:

READ AN EXCERPT: “The Joy of Politics” by Sen. Amy Klobuchar
What’s a mom to do? In her new book, the Minnesota Democrat writes about one of her accomplishments as part of the Senate Rules Committee: getting new parents permission to bring their babies onto the Senate floor.

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Story produced by Robert Marston. Editor: Joseph Frandino.