Trevor Baratko and Mother

The writer with his mother, a longtime public school teacher, enjoying some time on the links.

As the Internet is quick to remind us, there's a celebration for every day.

This week there were some that really matter. (No, we're not looking at you, National Have a Coke Day on May 8, or you, National Moscato Day on May 9, though you both sound delicious at the moment.)

Rather, this week's designations are notably poignant considering our current quarantined corners.

Tuesday was National Teachers Day. During a school year no one could have predicted, with curveballs thrown left and right, it's worth pausing and reflecting on the magic teachers bring to our lives, not just in the moment, but, with regards to the best of those classroom wizards, decades down the line. Their lessons transform us, challenge us and guide our futures in ways we often don't realize at the time.

By and large, teachers have put in extra hours to adjust to the new normal of distance learning. It's certainly not their preference, and it limits their control and command of the classroom, but most educators believe if even one or two students continue to learn and progress during this challenging time, it's all worth it.

Tuesday's National Teachers Day was followed up with a day that honors everyday heroes who are finally getting their due – heroes we know we should always be grateful for, but ones who go about their extraordinary work with such ordinary composure, it's easy for us to forget to say thanks.

Wednesday was National Nurses Day. This year in particular, maybe it should be National Nurses Year.

We've all seen the pictures of scarred faces from endless days of wearing protective masks. We've heard the stories of these front-line warriors risking their own health against a terrorizing, largely unknown virus. Many have sacrificed for months now their own sense of family life to dedicate themselves to their cause-driven career, saving countless lives in the process. There aren't enough thanks to honor our nurses.

And then there's Mom. I love you, Mom. This is a double-week for you on account of your 30-plus years in public education.

Moms, as we already knew but have been reminded in recent months, are resilient. They're tenacious. All mothers are teachers – some just don't get paid for it.

Moms strike a balance between support, compassion, kindness and a zest for challenging their kid. Like a good coach, they never let you get too high or too low. They'll go to bat for you, but you better be willing to go to bat for yourself, too.

Pretty much any praise bestowed upon a good teacher can be directed to a good mother, as well.

Sadly, millions of us are staying away from our older parents out of an abundance of caution and concern for their health amid the pandemic. By Sunday, COVID-19 will have forced me to miss both my dad's 70th birthday celebrations and Mother's Day.

No worries. We're storing up our celebratory spirit for a grand fête when this is all over. We'll do so at a favorite Loudoun vineyard, where we'll engage in three clinks – one for our mothers, one for our teachers and one for our nurses.


Trevor Baratko is the editor-in-chief of the Loudoun Times-Mirror. He can be reached at

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