Locals share their stories
Who loves ya?
If no one else, there’s always your mom.
Better plan something nice for her special day May 11.
The Reporter interviewed various Northshore residents — kids, PTA moms and seniors — to get their thoughts on this mother of all holidays.
• Bothell resident Darlene Renfro, 60, has seven children. Her daughter, 39-year-old Kerry Schwindt of Kenmore, has two youngsters of her own.
What do you like about being a mother?
Renfro: I have seven children. That’s what I always wanted to do, so I’ve got my passion taken care of.
I like seeing them grow up and watching the next generation come up.
I can say one of the fun things about it is: as you’re raising your children and lecturing them, they give you that glassy look, but you hear your words repeated when they’re raising their kids. You know it did some kind of good.
What makes for a good Mother’s Day?
Renfro: Being acknowledged by my kids.
Schwindt: We take her out for dinner every year.
Where do you take her?
Schwindt: We try to get a different place every year. She likes steak.
Who pays the bill?
Schwindt: The daughters split it. That’s our treat.
Do you have any traditions?
Schwindt: We make a toast to everyone there — the moms and families and kids.
What’s Mother’s Day like when the kids aren’t old enough to buy flowers and take you out to dinner?
Schwindt: We just make it a fun family day. We try to do something like go to the park and hang out.
What has your husband done for you on Mother’s Day?
Schwindt: I think the best thing he ever did was making stepping stones with imprints of my children’s hands and feet on the first Mother’s Day with each of them.
Has anyone ever surprised you on Mother’s Day?
Renfro: Oh, I had a surprise a couple years ago. One of my daughters came up from California and surprised me. That was super special. Any time I can get my kids together, I love it.
• Kenmore resident Janice Kutzera is a PTA mom with two children, Cameron, 11, and Maddie, 10, both of whom she adopted at birth.
What does Mother’s Day mean to you?
It’s extra special. There were some years where I didn’t think I’d have kids. There’s a part of you that’s excited that it’s Mother’s Day, but you remember that someone else had to give something up for you to have those kids.
What do you normally receive?
My husband always brings me eggs benedict in bed, and of course a latte. He never leaves for work without bringing coffee.
He does this every day?
Eggs benedict is only on my birthday and on Mother’s Day. I get coffee every day, but I have to be awake and conscious at 5:30, and I get lattes on the weekends.
What else do you get?
The kids usually make things with Scouts or with school, and that’s fun.
My husband bought me a ring with the kids’ birth stones after Maddie was born.
Do you get flowers?
I do, but I have hey fever, so my husband knows by now that it’s a better idea to get me a plant that I can grow outside.
• Woodinville resident Heidi Henault is the single mother of 8-year-old Nate.
What type of gifts do you receive on Mother’s Day?
Last year, Nate gave me a bouquet of flowers that he painted on paper. I had it matted and framed so I’ll have it forever. He made a heart pin out of buttons another year. I wear it on Mother’s Day.
My mom also brought me a pair of pearl earrings when Nate was an infant — because that’s his birth stone — and a necklace.
What did you do for your mom when you were a kid?
I shouldn’t say this, but I remember walking home from school, and the trail I used to take took me through a cemetery. I grabbed a bunch of flowers for her. That’s horrible.
Why is Mother’s Day special for you?
I just couldn’t imagine not being a mother. Nate’s the sunshine of my life.
• Ben Hau is a 9-year-old Kenmore resident.
What kind of special treats do you have in store for your mom?
I’m going to make her a recipe that I know, and I’m going to draw her a picture.
What will you draw?
It’s going to be of me and Air Force jets.
What recipe do you know?
It’s called “Ben’s special.”
What’s it made of?
The ingredients are two waffles, two spoonfuls of yogurt and 10 pieces of cereal.
How did you come up with this?
I started thinking of it when I was in first grade. It just seemed so good.
• Inessa Nikulan is an 8-year-old Kenmore resident.
What have you planned for your mom?
I’m going to bring a big breakfast for her and buy flowers for her and make a card for her and do what she likes.
What does she like?
She likes massages.
What will you make her for breakfast?
Eggs and bacon and a sandwich.
What kind of sandwich?
Butter and toast.
Does your mom know you’re going to make breakfast on Mother’s Day?
No. I do it always for her, but she forgets.
What will you say to your mom to let her know how much you love her?
I’d say, “I love you mom, and you’re the best mom I ever had.”
• Teresa Govea is a native of Mexico, where people warm up for Mother’s Day by celebrating Children’s Day April 30. She has two kids, 7-year-old Issac, and 9-year-old Fernanda.
Why do you celebrate Children’s Day?
We need one day that’s special for kids. Many organizations visit orphans, and we do something like make a clown or a show and let them know we love them and think they’re important.
We also need to remember our traditions, and this is one of them.
What would you like for Mother’s Day?
Teresa: Definitely to stay with my kids and my husband and thank God because I have my mom.
What does your husband do for you?
Teresa: He gives me flowers, and we go to a restaurant. Sometimes he cooks for me.
What do you get from your kids?
Issac: Sometimes I make her waffles when she wants breakfast.
Do you put anything special on top, like cereal or yogurt?
Issac: I put syrup and butter.
• The Nguyen children live in Kenmore. They include Paula, 13, Eileen, 10, Sean, 8, and Zackary, 6.
Do you guys have anything special planned for your parents?
Paula: We made her a giant card using scratch paper.
Eileen: I drew little teeny people. I like to draw things.
Paula: We also made a banner saying, “We love mom.” My brothers put little things like balloons in it. Then we bought a music card. It says, “Mom, you’re awesome,” and it gives a little chant. It’s cute.
What makes your mom awesome?
Zachary: Mostly she makes me happy a lot. She takes care of all of us, and she goes to work every day.
Paula: She’s the person that helps us with homework and does the kitchen work and stuff. Plus, we wouldn’t have been born without her.