Between cooking and cleaning and chauffeuring and chaperoning, a mother's work is indeed never done. While their primary role is to nourish us, they are also capable of embarassing us, nudging with irrelevant, unsolicited advice — but is it not every parent's prerogative to offer unsolicited advice? (Then again, is it possible to watch My Mom's on Facebook and not cringe for every sweater-wearing mother who ever overshared?) Today of all days, let us forgive them their flaws and their malapropisms and their fashion faux-pas and remember that their hearts, if not their tweets, are in the right place. "Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world," wrote James Joyce, "a mother's love is not." And we agree. Herewith, a Happy Mother's Day to you all.
Now, go call your Mother.
Tina Roth Eisenberg with her mother, Trudi Roth, January 1975
Nancy Levinson with her mother, Sally Levinson, on Cape Cod, about 1961
Allison Arieff with her mother, Carol, 1966
Julie Lasky with her mother, Ruth Lasky, about 1961
Alexander Isley with his mother, Jane Isley, 1965
Adam Harrison Levy with his mother, Lorain Levy, April, 1967
Nancy Sharon Collins with her mother, Charlotte Kaufman Feldman, about 1956
Keira Alexandra with her mother, Alexandra Ossipoff, circa 1969
Peter Mendelsund with his mother, Judy Mendelsund circa 1971
William Drenttel and his mother, Shirley, circa 1960
Carol (Darlow) Wahler with her mother, Dorothy Darlow, June 1946
Betsy Vardell and her mother, Guyla Vardell, 1972
Sean Adams and his mother Sylvia, 1966
Andrew Sloat, his sister Elizabeth Sloat, and their mother, Caroline Sloat, 1978.
Allan Chochinov and his mother, Ethel, 1962
Mark Lamster with his mother, Jane, 1972
Eric Baker with his mother, Anne, about 1952
Nancy Skolos and her mother, Marge (and Cleo) circa 1965
Antonio Alcalá with his mother, Ruth, Thanksgiving, 1969
Teddy Blanks with his mother, Cindy Hudgins Blanks, 2011
Nancy Essex with her mother, Jeanne and family (Nancy is second from right, bottom), 1965
Alexandra Lange with her mother, Martha Scotford and grandmother, Anne Scotford, 1977
Derry Noyes with her mother, Molly Noyes, and her father, Eliot Noyes, about 1956
Kali Nikitas and her mother, Catherine Louise, circa 1965
Seymour Chwast and his mother Esther, Bronx, NY 1932
Stefan G. Bucher with his mother Jutta, about 1978
"Here is picture of my mom, Anne Marie Campbell Bierut from her days as a freelance product model, about 1955" writes Michael Bierut. "Just pretend that I'm a Western Union Intrafax!"
Karin Fong and her mother, Sylvia Leong, 1972
Nathalie Destandeau and her mother, 1962
Dori Tunstall with her "adapted" mother, Aunt Jill, circa 1974
John Foster and his mother, Nell Foster and twin sister, Nancy, 1952.
Carl W. Smth with his mother and sister (both named Barbara), Honolulu, 1968
Tom Wedell and his mother, Mildred, 1949
Gaby Brink and her mother, Rosemarie, 1971
"The only early picture I have of me with my mother is one in which she does not appear," writes Ralph Caplan, pictured here in an undated photo. "I am on a pony and she crouches behind, invisibly demonstrating that I am brave enough to sit on a steed without an adult holding the reins."
Jessica Helfand and her mother, Audrey, early 1960s
Ashwini Deshpande with her mother and father, Sunetra and Shankar Oak, and older sister Rajani, 1969
Marian Bantjes with her mother June, early 1990s
Oded Ezer with his mother Lily Ezer, about 1978
Laurie Rosenwald's father, Robert Rosenwald, was a sculptor: above, an alabaster sculpture that he made of his wife, Ruth, holding Laurie as an infant, about 1955
Debbie Millman and her mother, Roberta, Howard Beach, Queens, about 1966
Erik Spiekermann with his Mother, Barbara, and family in Northern Germany, summer, 1951
"How about other designers with your parents," asked Gail Anderson when she received our prompt. "One of my students came to Thanksgiving dinner last year, and I couldn't resist taking a picture of him with my parents (85 and 89). His name is Zipeng Zhu and my parents were totally baffled when he took off his shoes at the door."