Changing the World One Child at a Time

Mothers who raised the future

Mona+Baggett+and+her+daughter+Kaia+on+a+train.+Photo+by+Keona+Blanks.
Mona Baggett and her daughter Kaia on a train. Photo by Keona Blanks.

Mona Baggett and her daughter Kaia on a train. Photo by Keona Blanks.

Mona Baggett and her daughter Kaia on a train. Photo by Keona Blanks.

Keona Blanks, Reporter

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From Abigail Adams to J.K. Rowling, mothers throughout history have provided for their children through their words, actions, and unconditional love. Adams, in a letter to her traveling eleven-year-old son, compared him to “a river that increases its stream the farther it flows from its source; or to certain springs which, running through rich veins of minerals, improve their qualities as they pass along.” Rowling, who struggled for years as a single mother, said she is prouder of those years than of any other part of her life. 

Bronze-eyed Mona Baggett. Photo by Keona Blanks.

In the summer of 2006, a young single mother with thick russet hair, faint bronze eyes, and a small Japanese nose that follows the curve of her high brows stepped out of the hatch of an airplane and onto a platform of the Honolulu International Airport. With a determined look on her lightly creased olive-skinned face, she held her two little children’s hands as she led them into a new life.

Mona Baggett, the single mother who stepped out of the old and into the new, won against all odds after leaving her family in Japan to pursue nursing. She tirelessly endured twelve- to sixteen-hour night shifts as a nurse to provide for her children and reserve the hours of the day to be a part of her children’s childhood––even if it meant going without sleep for another many hours.

Such tireless mothers unknowingly impart an invaluable gift to humanity: tenacious work ethic. Little do the mothers know, their bright-eyed children watch the flame dance in their mother’s eyes when she returns from a long night shift, or when she teaches them how to read, or when she puts together their high school graduation banner––and that very flame of unremitting effort is replicated by the children in the snap and crackle of their crayons over paper, and in the tearful ambition they face the world with when they leave to change it.  

Mona Baggett (middle back) and her son Sean Blanks (left), daughter Keona Blanks (right), and newborn daughter Kaia Baggett (middle front). Photo by Kie Hirahara.

Though excessively mawkish, tributes to mothers cannot be told any less sentimentally––or else they would lose the compassion that parallels the figurative and literal sappiness of motherhood. Mothers, with all their endearment and smothering, change the world through the way they raise their children. May mothers like Adams, Rowling, and Baggett continue to shape the future for the better. Happy Mother’s Day.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Changing the World One Child at a Time”

  1. Luana Hirahara on May 13th, 2018 1:26 pm

    Keona, that was beautiful! It made me cry…and not just because I am your grandmother.
    Thank you for writing this beautiful article.

  2. Donald Blanks on May 14th, 2018 5:17 pm

    Well written and inspiring … thank you so much for introducing the world to your amazing mother

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Changing the World One Child at a Time