by Jon Cotner and Claire Hamilton


“My daughter is now 36, and lives in San Francisco. I remember when she sold Girl Scout cookies door to door. Nobody ever really bought them. But she never gave up.”

To celebrate Mother’s Day, we talked with 20 moms during an overcast, leafy walk through Brooklyn. We asked them to describe memorable moments of their motherhood.

For the moms in all of us.


“When they’re one and you see them walk, that’s great. When they’re three and they enter pre-school, that’s great too. Kids’ lives come into focus over the years.”

Tiffany & Cassius

“Memorable moments — Cassius is only two, but has so many. He counts to 20 already.”

Hooks, Xavier & Mariah

“I had homebirths for both of them. After the younger came out, Hooks, two and a half at the time, was rubbing his new brother’s head and singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Xavier gets happy whenever he hears that song.”


“My son accidentally locked himself in a room when he was five. He freaked. I can’t recall how I opened the door. We went out for milkshakes.”

Oliver & Arron

“Nothing can describe the second your child sees you, and lights up.”

Rebecca & Noah

“Noah is his own superhero. He’s Super Noah.”


“I’m proud of my grandson’s successful exams. He just won scholarships for college.”

Millicent & Quinn

“As soon as I stopped playing with dolls I wanted a baby. I was thrilled to death when Quinn’s dad was born.”

Susan & Falco

“I’m a mom to dogs.”


“If I could do it all over, I’m not sure I’d have kids. I come from a culture where kids respect and cherish mothers. America has different values. It’s too distracted.”

Nadia, Greg & Bradley

“Bradley is a quiet baby. But a few months ago, he made a loud Incredible Hulk-like sound from across the room. I realized another person is here. It’s not just about me and my husband now.”


“I still remember when I first felt my daughter’s hand cup my neck. The unconditional love; the total trust. Her breath always smelled nice too.”


“In the ’70s my husband and I were renovating our house on Union Street. Our son, four years old, was playing downstairs. Suddenly we heard hammerblows. We found a huge hole in the newly painted front hall, and asked him what he was doing. He said: ‘Looking for spiders.’”


“I live again through my son — my first year, second year, third year, and so on. Growing older and having youth follow makes life sweet.”


“Every day my daughter tells me I’m her best friend.”


“Back when my son was three I took him to Downtown Brooklyn. He pointed to a sign, and said ‘The — King’s — Store.’ I had no idea he could read.”

Jocelyn & Ann

“The other night my daughter played a piece of music on the piano — some riff on Puff, the Magic Dragon — and it was so beautiful. I’m going to use it as background music for a slideshow about my own mom’s death.”

Mary & Willem

“As a mother, you’re young and ambitious, and you have aspirations. But as a grandmother you see these things aren’t as important as the little being in your care. You learn how quickly it goes by. How fleeting it all is.”


“Each Mother’s Day my kids bring me flowers and take me to dinner.”

Jon Cotner and Claire Hamilton have made other slideshows based on affectionate nicknames and holiday wishes. Jon is coauthor of Ten Walks/Two Talks. Stay in touch with them here.