Axios Finish Line

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1 big thing: Honor thy mother

Our moms! From left: Muna Joshi, Barbara Allen, Joan VandeHei

Bust out the Kleenex: Each of the three of us is going to share "1 big lesson" from our mothers — and we want you to do the same. 

Why it matters: It's Mother's Day on Sunday! 

  • Drop lessons learned from your mother here. We'll include the most enlightening ones in a special Sunday edition of Finish Line.
  • Please keep it to one sentence and one lesson. And please include your name and city. All of us can learn from your moms too. 

We'll start ...

What Erica learned: Don’t just say — do.

  • It’s not typical in Nepal (where my parents emigrated from) to talk about your feelings. But my mom, Muna Joshi, always shows us how much she loves us through acts of kindness that speak volumes.
  • She still puts out fresh fruit for me when I visit. And if I mention I’ve been shopping for something like a rice cooker or a raincoat, she sends me home with hers on the spot. I learned there are a million ways to constantly tell people you love and appreciate them.

What Mike learned: It’s not about you.

  • My mother — Barbara Allen, who had four kids in four years, and now lives in Oregon — was thrifty. She went years without a new dress. But she’d always reach for the check when getting lunch with someone. "I'll treat, she'd say.
  • We never had a big discussion about either trait — yet both of them are now me to a T, as she puts it. I watched, listened and learned. Good or bad, the kids in our life are doing the same.

What Jim learned: True, unconditional love.

  • I can say this without exaggeration: There has never been one second in my life that my mother, Joan VandeHei, has shown anything other than absolute, unshakable love, whether I was getting tossed in jail for protesting the drinking age or ringing up miserable grades.
  • This is the reason I am an entrepreneur today: Unconditional love gave me the self-confidence to take risks, knowing there's something great to fall back on if I flop. It also made me a better dad. 

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🎁 Speedy gift guide

Illustration of a bouquet of tulips with the Axios A on the vase.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Here are three hit gift ideas if you're still looking for a special way to say thanks to mom:

  1. Flowers: Support local florists. Flowers are a timeless gift, and it's not too late.
  2. Digital frame: We walk around with thousands of precious family photos on our devices. Load up the best ones in a digital photo frame.
  3. Quality time: If you're lucky enough to live close to mom and feel safe gathering, take her out to lunch. Put away your phones and have a long conversation.

Oh, and don't underestimate the power of a simple phone call.

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