In many parts of the world, when a baby is born, the first question that is asked is: "Is it a boy or a girl?" Over time, Dad may have been the one to teach us to speak in complete sentences, or boost us up on his shoulders so that we could see over the heads of the crowd, but it was Mother who was our first boss.
She was the one who gave our immune system a boost with her breast milk. She's the one who set up the sandbox rules: "Play fair and share everything." Mom taught us how to cry a little, then kiss and make up.
Today, someone took a look at a photo of my mother, taken when she was a young woman, and then looked at me and said, "You've got your mother's eyes."
I picked up the mirror and looked at my face. It's true. I do have my mother's eyes. It doesn't matter whether I'm male or female, young or old, it will always be true. My eyes are my mother's eyes, and my hands, when I make a gesture, are the hands of my mother.
Today, in our interconnected world, our lives may be lived through the stories we tell others about ourselves, but forever, and always, my smile will be my mother's smile. The hand raised high to wave hello or goodbye is also hers. My feet even slip into the same shoe size my mother wore.
On Mother's Day, when I slip into a favorite vintage dress that was already old and well worn when I was young, my own children will look at me with that ages-old familiar smile. Then, I expect, they will reach out to hug me with hands that look just like mine, and yes... just like hers.
Alexia Parks is a science journalist, impact entrepreneur, and UN-Habitat YouthFund virtual mentor who uses communication technology and the New Science of the female brain to inspire and motivate a new generation of leaders. She is also author of 13 books including 10 Traits of Women of Power and Courage,