“Riley’s Mom”

May 11, 2009

“Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”   —Elizabeth Stone

My mother’s day started a little earlier than I’d hoped.   “Mom?”  a little voice said to me before 9 AM (which is early for me on a Sunday!)   When I managed to open one eye, there stood my daughter Riley, with tray in hand.  “Happy Mother’s Day!!”  she said, a wide smile consuming her little face.  

“What’s this, Riley?”  I asked. 

“I made you breakfast in bed, for Mother’s Day!”     There on a tray was a chocolate covered donut, a piece of peanut butter toast and a glass of milk–the breakfast of champions.   I am NOT a breakfast person and instantly my mind flashed back more than 3 decades when I tried this same thing on MY mom at 6:30 on a Saturday morning!   You know what they say about paybacks.   

“Wow…I don’t know if I can eat all this.”  I started, forcing my other eye open and trying my best to sit up.   

Her enthusiasm was NOT to be quashed.   “Just eat it and then you can go back to sleep for awhile.”  she reasoned.   I took a bite out of the peanut butter toast.  “Did I do a good job?”  She grinned?  

“Riley, it’s the best peanut butter toast I’ve ever had.” I said with pride, watching her smile get impossibly bigger.  

Riley and "Riley's Mom."

Riley and "Riley's Mom."

“Since you’re awake now, I have a couple of presents for you,”  she said, handing me two homemade presents:  a flower pot she had painted with marigolds growing inside, and a homemade “Time Magazine” with the title “Chrys Peterson: Mom of the Year!”   As I read every page and looked at all the hand-drawn pictures, my heart felt like it was about to burst with love for this little girl I brought into the world almost 9 years ago.  A little girl who’s given me endless joy and the title I cherish most in my life:  “Riley’s Mom.”



  1. Such a sweet story. It put a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. My baby’s nearly 20, but those moments are remembered and cherished forever.

  2. Thanks, Carol! I try to write down all this stuff. It goes by so fast! 🙂

  3. Chrys,

    This brought tears to my eyes. You know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day? It was just as special for you as it was for Riley. You are lucky to have a wonderful mother-daughter relationship, that is a blessing in its self! Kelly (Germany gal)

  4. Truely a special bond between you and Riley. She’s lucky to have a wonderful mother and you a precious child. And me well, I’m blessed to have both of you as wife and daughter. Miss you both. Tom

  5. Chrys,

    That is a very sweet story. My children are all grown and out of the house. I have many precious memories of times like the one you shared. I would strongly suggest to all moms out there to always recieve all gifts with love and thankfulness to their children. Because when you lose a child like I have, the memories are cut short. Thank you for such a heart touching story. =]

  6. I try to make sure never to take any of those moments for granted, Shirley. I’m sorry to hear about your loss.

  7. What a sweet thing to read Chrys. When my kids made me the school “crafy gifts for Mothers Day”. I would say. “It is so beautiful”. I am just glad the kids were so excited to tell me what it was instead of me having to figure it out. My kids are now young adults and I still have some of the “crafty school” gifts they made me. We now laugh because we still look at them and get to go back in time full of memories and wonder what it is that they were trying to make. The breakfast in bed thing, I also am not a breakfast person, but it goes back to being a mom and the saying “The Things We Do For Love”. I am not sure if Riley is the blessed one or you as her mom, or maybe you and I just got so blessed that it’s “simply” a great connection we have with our kid(s), being their mom and them reminding us how to be kids.

  8. You have no idea what true love is until you have a child. Now, Chrysie, child of mine — you do!! I love you both! Mom
    P.S. Tell Riley to make my Mother’s Day breakfast Diet Coke and potato chips! 🙂

  9. I think my breakfast in bed for you was soggy cheerios because I poured the milk before the toast was done!
    Love ya, Mom!

  10. Tears;) so sweet! I cherish all the mothers day surprises I helped Riley with over the years! especially the garden stone we made when she was 3. I still cant believe we mixed concrete ourselves on your back patio! 🙂 HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

  11. Thank for that story Chrys! My now 24 year old did this a few times for me and I truly miss those days. Gotta go get a tissue, the tears seem to be stuck in my lashes! Riley is a sweet, beautiful young lady, you did good.


  12. Thanks, Lynn! I know…time goes by so fast, doesn’t it?

  13. My daughter is 5 and she made me a tray with orange juice and a frozen waffle. The orange juice was in a sippy cup so I didn’t spill it in bed and she explained the waffle was frozen because she is not allowed to use the toaster but reasoned if I left it out long enough it would “get soft enough to eat.” Have to say things like this make me love my daughter a little more every day (if that is even possible).

  14. Chrys, you are so lucky and so is Riley. What a beautiful, touching picture and the story brought tears to my eyes too. I keep trying to impress upon Sasha that Mother’s Day is THE most important holiday (and not only bc she has two moms) and that homemade cards are the best present in the world. Let’s catch up soon.

  15. Chrys…I noticed that you spend many hours relating to breast cancer. You made many commercials etc. Have you ever thought about the fact that maybe in your or your daughter’s life time maybe one or both of you might need an organ? I have been disappointed in WTOL because they seem to have dropped the ball on Organ Donation. At one time several of your staff was in need of transplant. Maybe the issue has taken the back burner at the station.

    I am a liver transplant receipient. 7 years ago I was within 12 hours of dying. The doctors told my wife and daughter that they didn’t think I would last the night. They both said goodbye to me and told me to go if I had a choice.

    I would like to see channel 11 bring Donate Life issue back on the front burner. We now have over 102,000 people waiting for a transplant. Only 30% will get their gift of life. The rest will die. Did they do something wrong….No! These diseases that create all this havoc don’t decide where to go. If you have money don’t think you are exempt.
    Cancer is a very passionate disease….For higher percentages of the time people are cured or at least manage the disease. However, organ donation doesn’t. Please give this very careful consideration.

  16. Hi Ken! Thank you for sharing your story–what a miracle you are! Yes, breast cancer has been one of the causes I have been very focused on during my 15 years here at the station. Adoption has been another. Although I do donate my time for many other community organizations, the station has chosen to focus air time on those two things through a commitment to the NW Ohio Race for the Cure and the “Home for Keeps” program. We do, though, run stories on an ongoing basis and have had guests in for webchats, etc. to highlight the need for organ donation. I will pass along your passionate comments to our station leaders and we’ll see what we can do in the future. God bless.

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