La Mamma Italiana

“An Italian mother is the quintessential woman. We are the heart of the household, the one they all come to for help or advice or a good bowl of pasta. The Italian mother runs it all, but makes everyone else look good. It means defending family like a ferocious bear, having a toughness that is unsurpassed and a tenderness that could melt a rock.”

Sandra Rinomato, author (Realty Check), HGTV host, Real Estate Broker

“My parents, Italian immigrants of the 1950s, shaped my sense of Italian identity. I have raised three sons, now I have three daughters-in-law and three grandchildren, with whom I share those values, language, cultures and accepting that family life is all about change, growth and unconditional love. My mother would say to me, ‘The way things are done changes and thank heavens for that.’ She instilled in me that mothers are strong, keep family united and have limitless capacity to love.”

Caroline DiCocco, music teacher, writer and former parliamentarian

“I grew up stirring things on the stove with my mom, from the risotto to the polenta to the sugo. Our kitchen was where we talked, where I learned to cook, where my mom spoon in hand would pause to pour over the newspaper for a few moments to catch up on the politics of the day. And so it was that I learned to cook and think.

My mother and I shared ideas, and we also had the same voice, indistinguishable from each other. But my mom gave me my other voice too: the one that keeps asking questions, the one more afraid of staying silent than speaking up. She died in October at the age of 84. But I still have her voice — the strong one, the one she taught me to use. And I can still stir the risotto to perfection.”

Anna Maria Tremonti, Host, The Current, CBC Radio One

“I see our role as mothers is not to shape our children into images of ourselves or of what we want them to be, but to bring out the best in them so that they might be their truest, happiest selves.”

Michelle Alfano, novelist and editor

“Ho imparato molto dalla mia mamma. È stata una donna forte e coraggiosa, con grande fede e tenacia. Lei ci ha insegnato che è la donna che fa il buon marito. È la colonna della casa, è quella che regge e tiene salda la famiglia. Sa perdonare, sa stare in silenzio quando è necessario e sa reagire alle difficoltà. Sa soffrire senza farlo pesare a nessuno e sa darti conforto quando ne hai bisogno. Essere donna e mamma non è facile, ma il suo ruolo è fondamentale in una società che cambia continuamente”.

Domenica Belmonte, Italian Language Teacher, St. Clare Catholic School

written by Daniela DiStefano