Step 1: I suggest a topic or am given one.
Step 2: My editors determine the number of slides involved.
Step 3: I cry myself to sleep over the compensation.
Step 4: I write the gallery copy, select corresponding photos, yadda yadda yadda, and make my deadline like no deadline has ever been made before.
Step 5: The gallery is posted and the Pulitzer people start calling. Leave me be you bow-tied devils!
Step 6: The gallery is somehow used to sway elections in Burkina Faso.
Somewhere between steps 4 and 5 a few of my genius selections are occasionally nixed. A record-setting four slides in my new "20 incredible moms who made history" gallery, for instance, were given the old heave-ho, apparently because they deal with religious subjects or refer to mothers who gave birth to greatness but were not historically great themselves. I tried to argue the second point — you’ll understand why soon enough — but gave up when I realized that arguing takes time, and time is money, and money is the root of all evil, and Roots makes sweatpants, and sweatpants are a sign of giving up.
So because today is Mother's Day, and because this is my blog and I can post whatever the hell I want (insert evil laugh), here are the four slides that missed, but deserved to make, the cut:
When Grace married in the early 1950s and settled on an Alberta farm, she probably didn’t expect to raise seven sons and not a single daughter. It wouldn’t have surprised her that her sons played hockey — they’re Albertans, after all — but there’s no way she could have known that six of the seven would make it to the NHL.
Writer’s note: A mom raises seven boys, six of whom go on to play and coach NHL hockey, and she’s not historically great? Seriously? Come ON.
Mary Ball Washington
The mother of America’s first president was instrumental in molding her first-born son, George, into a true icon of history. An orphan at 13 and a widow at 35, Mary never remarried, instead choosing to manage her family and property herself. She was seen as a difficult woman by many, but she did things her way — especially when it came to her nation-building son.
Writer’s note: George Washington said his mother “was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.” But did he always answer her texts? Even when he was powering his wig? I doubt it.
The Virgin Mary
Two of the three great monotheistic religions have mothers as central figures. (Muhammad was orphaned at an early age, which takes Islam out of the picture.) For the 2 billion Christians out there, the mother of Jesus Christ is about as good as it gets. After all, according to the Bible, Mary gave birth to the messiah after being impregnated by God, spirited him away when his young life was in danger, witnessed his resurrection, established the Stations of the Cross...the list of blessed deeds goes on and on.
Writer’s note: I think I’ll send Mary a signed copy of 1,000 Places To See After You Die. The Aramaic edition, of course.
Judaism, meanwhile, celebrates the heroism of Moses’s mother. Tradition has it that Jochebed, who was also mom to Aaron and Miriam, hid Moses for three months when the Egyptians ordered the death of all newborn Hebrew males. Then she united him with his destiny by setting him afloat on the Nile in a reed basket that was found by the pharaoh’s daughter. Moses was reared in the Egyptian court, and the rest is history.
Writer’s note: If you’re not Jewish, is it sacrilegious to think Jochebed was kind of hot? Asking for a friend...