The perfect mom is nice, caring, and lets you do whatever you want, but still has rules. She is busy, organized and disciplined, sweet and pretty, and always there when you need her.
Does that sound like anyone you know?
That portrait of the model mom was painted for Mother's Day by six girls, ages 7 through 17, who hang out at the Boys & Girls Club in Carson City. They also contemplated what kind of moms they might be.
Rules and respect are important to 14-1/2-year-old Katy Barlow and her mom.
"She's a nice mom and caring," Katy said. "I like her letting me do whatever I want, after I do homework and chores, but I still have rules about who I hang out with."
The same goes for her friend Stephanie Marciel, who is 16.
"I want to be able to understand all the age stages of kids. They need to have rules -- not ridiculous rules -- but ground rules."
When she has children, Stephanie said, she thinks it's important to be flexible.
"Don't make too many rules or that makes kids disobey," she said.
Kimber Barnes said she has the "No. 1 mom a daughter can ever have."
"My mom and I are like this," she said, crossing her fingers. "She's just perfect."
Kimber, 14, said her mom is adventurous, likes to take hikes and ride Harleys.
"She puts her kids first and herself last," Kimber said. "She is unique. If you asked her about me, she would probably say, 'I love my daughter' and get all emotional."
Seventeen-year-old Sheila Menke is so excited about being a mom that she's spent the last five years volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club, helping out with other people's kids.
"I can't wait -- but I plan on waiting until I am ready. I am totally into it," she said. "I love kids. My future goal is to finish high school, go to WNCC and complete my basics and then go to UNR."
Sheila eventually wants to teach third grade.
Since she's spent almost one-third of her life volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club, Sheila has seen many kids come and go and grow up.
"The ones you work with the hardest are the ones you learn to love," she said.
"I don't want to be a strict mom, but I want to set the law down," she said. "If you don't, they hang out with the bad crowd.
"I love my mom. She gives me more leeway now that I am older, she's there for me when I need her and she's my chauffeur!" Sheila said.
At Holly Peterson's house, mom's greatest attributes are organization and a little bit of discipline. The 9-year-old's family, living in California and Nevada, includes five stepbrothers, a sister, a half-sister and two stepsisters.
"Everything is really organized," Holly said. "My mom isn't even mean."
Holly likes to go shopping and skating with her mother.
"I think I'm kind of going to be like my mom -- disciplined a little bit and have spare time to do things."
Holly said her favorite time is when her mom lets her 11-year-old sister Sarah go to a friend's house and she has her mother all to herself.
Ivy Mey Baker's mom is pretty and has "darkish, brownish hair and the same eyes as me."
The 7-year-old Fremont first-grader is working on a complicated Mother's Day gift which I promised not to reveal.
When she's a mom, Ivy said she would build a tree house for her children, capitalizing on her skills as a first-rate blanket-house builder.
"My mom said I am a pretty-named girl and my brother (Kirby) is a cutie-named boy. I have a special name, it's old, too," she said.
"My mom does something that I love," Ivy said. "She makes the 'I love you' sign in sign language and I make it back. Sometimes, when I am on the school bus, she does it and she doesn't say a word. She makes the sign and opens her hands and throws it to me and I catch it. She's beautiful."
Sheila Gardner is night desk editor of the Nevada Appeal.
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