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Longboat moms share their favorite motherhood memories

In honor of Mother's Day on May 12, these Longboat mothers and grandmothers are sharing the good, bad and messy of motherhood.

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  • | 8:40 a.m. May 8, 2019
Pat Cooper and her daughter Jenny Courtesy photo
Pat Cooper and her daughter Jenny Courtesy photo
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From the messy moments to the sweet ones, motherhood is full of surprises. In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked Longboat Key mothers and grandmothers to share some of their most hilarious and most memorable motherhood moments.


Pick a winner

I have a funny story about my daughter, Jenny. She was about 3, and we had been working on trying to get her to stop picking her nose. So one night we were putting her to bed and after reading her a book and telling her goodnight we were leaving the room, and she said

"when you leave, I'm just going to pick my nose.” Another one is when we were at the airport waiting to board a plane, I think she was almost 4. The woman sitting in the seat across from her asked Jenny "what do you like to do for fun?" Jenny without hesitation said "I like to pick the fuzz between my toes.” Of course, we were flabbergasted and so was the woman.  We had never heard her say anything like that before and to see her trying to shock this woman was funny.

-Pat Cooper


Julie Flaherty and her son, William, in 1972. Courtesy photo
Julie Flaherty and her son, William, in 1972. Courtesy photo

Golden advice

I remember driving my son to his first day of kindergarten at a new school. He looked so adorable in his new clothes and clutching his treasured NFL lunch box. We had talked at length about how much fun he was going to have and what to expect and he seemed eager. But when we arrived at the curb, he turned to me with his huge brown eyes welling with tears, and said, “What if nobody likes me?” My heart was breaking, and I knew it was up to me to give him courage. By some miracle, I recalled what my own mom had said to me in a similar situation decades earlier, “Always smile, always treat everyone the way you want to be treated, and friends will follow . . .always.”  He looked dubiously at me, wiped away his tears, smiled a little smile and took his first steps toward the rest of his life. I cried all the way home, hoping I’d said the right thing. To moms everywhere, “Happy Hardest Job in the World Day!”

-Julie Flaherty


Petal problems

Sometimes we go back to Rochester for Mother’s Day to be with our Rochester kids.  My son, who lives in California always sends me flowers for Mother’s Day. and last year he sent them here to Longboat Key, and we were in Rochester! The florist left them outside and they attracted lots of bees and other little “flower lovers.” I hope this year, he sends them to where I can enjoy them!

-Bunny Skirboll


Super troupers

One trip, I took with two granddaughters, who know about it, and three great granddaughters. We went to Orlando for a long weekend and saw “Mamma Mia!” on stage, so it was just a really fun age, and they (great granddaughters) had no idea where they were going until they came to the airport and I came out to meet them. The mothers video taped the girls in the car and they asked where they were going. The mothers had picked the girls up from school made up an excuse about having to go to the dentist. When the girls saw the suitcases, one said “are we going to Las Vegas?” That’s probably the last place I’d want to take a 10-year-old.

-Snookie Register

Mother’s Day surprise

Jacqueline, Brittany and Nancy Rozance Courtesy photo
Jacqueline, Brittany and Nancy Rozance Courtesy photo

I do have a special memory for Mother's Day 1995.  The girls got up early in the morning and decorated the kitchen to celebrate the day.  Since they did not have any money, they picked flowers outside and used toilet paper for decorating.Then, they left these cards by my bedroom door.  As a single mom from the time they were 10 months and 3 years old, these moments were very special to me.

-Nancy Rozance


Randy, Deryck, Tom and Dee Harmer
Randy, Deryck, Tom and Dee Harmer

Snake-y situation 

When they (two sons) were little we lived on 2.5 acres on the Florida/Georgia line in Tallahassee. The oldest Deryck is now 38. His funniest memories is me being on his Honda 50 scooter with a shotgun across my legs because there was a rattlesnake (16 rattles on its tail) on the side of the road. It just ate a squirrel so I eliminated it.  I didn’t want it to bite one of the kids walking to the bus stop. The youngest, Randy, is 32. When he was really young, he received a battery powered Jeep for his birthday. Back then we had the old video cameras and there was only one rule   – don’t go after the dog. We turned on the camera, and as fast as he could he pressed the pedal to the ground and chased the dog all over the two-and-half acres.

-Dee Harmer


Jorie Riesen and her daughters Courtesy photo
Jorie Riesen and her daughters Courtesy photo

I'm a big kid now

When my youngest was 2, she was thrilled to wear her new panties as she had just been potty trained. We walked into ChickFilA and she saw her friend, Alex from preschool. She ran right up to him and dropped her pants to show him the new underwear. Such innocence and pure joy at that age.

- Jorie Riesen 


Walk down memory lane 

Taking beach walks on Longboat Key when I was a kid, singing all the time with “You are my Sunshine” and so many others, collecting shells along the way. I’d consider that a sweet moment. Or how you tried to keep me busy on the beach and had me make “Barbie dolls” out of seashells, and I’d keep busy for hours on the beach with my seashell family. That was great for me and made me appreciate the love for seashells.

-Kristen and Sue Reese


Like mother, like son

I had three great boys who have turned out to be wonderful , thoughtful and grateful men.  It wasn’t easy but it was never dull. I had to be a Mom who liked playing with cars , going to their sporting events and didn’t mind the dirt that boys are so fond of.  I am blessed because they are all successful at their jobs, relationships and life ! The best part is they always thank me for all the love , support and opportunity they were provided and not just on Mother’s Day but many times throughout the year !   I know Motherhood is the most rewarding accomplishment in my career and I look forward to all the text , calls and cards that always end in “I Love You Mom!”

-Mary Drugan


Mary Lou Johnson with granddaughter Lucy Courtesy photo
Mary Lou Johnson with granddaughter Lucy Courtesy photo

Serious talk

A couple weeks ago I was conversing with Lucy, my two year old granddaughter.  She had just explained something to me quite eloquently so I told her, “ Lucy, you really speak so well!” She quickly replied, “You speak very well too, Nunu!"

- Mary Lou Johnson 


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