As we are all huddled in our homes during this troubled time in our community, my heart turns to the mothers who, in a very real sense, hold our society together.

From home-schooling and juggling jobs to entertaining kiddos on a limited budget with even more limited options, mothers throughout this community are engaged in a very hard and often uncelebrated work.

As an orthodontist, I work closely with mothers. Most of the parents accompanying children to their appointments are mothers. And a common phrase I hear from mothers is that they want their kids to have a better life than they had; and that is why they bring their kids to see us. Some never had the opportunity for straight teeth, but these mothers are going to make sure their kids have this and many other opportunities.

And this brings up the thing that I admire most about all of the committed mothers out there: I admire that you have a love for your children so strong, that you are willing to sacrifice yourself for them.

In fact, the bond between mothers and children is so strong, that mothers are almost universally willing to sacrifice their lives to save their children.

We often hear impressive stories in the news of mothers lifting up cars, scaling down into wells, taking bullets for their children.

These examples certainly show this powerful sacrificial love. But, hopefully, most mothers will not find themselves in a situation where they must run into a burning building or fight off a wild animal to save the life of a child.

No, typical motherhood — the type I see in my own mother, in my wife, the mother of my children, and in the mothers I work with everyday — involves saving the lives of children one day at a time, one good example at a time, one word of encouragement at a time, one disciplinary action at a time, one prayer at a time; over and over and over again.

This is giving one’s life for another. Not just one fleeting moment of a life, but rather the year-to-year, day-to-day, second-to-second entirety of a life.

How grateful we sons and daughters are for the ongoing sacrifice you mothers make on our behalf.

In your role, you have, and are, and will be giving your life for us.

After my wife Brianne and I got married, we saw the 10 years of my schooling ahead of us and despite that, we made the tough decision to begin having children right away.

I watched Brianne in awe as she embraced what would be several long years of near-single motherhood, which started just 9 months after our marriage. She selflessly sacrificed and toiled to be the best mother she could be.

This journey has brought many struggles, many joyously amazing moments, and many low moments. On this, most parents can relate.

I have witnessed first-hand the struggle, the devotion, and the deep and profound love Brianne has for all of our children. We both have been profoundly impacted by our roles as parents. And I stand back and admire her as she engages in the tough and often heart-breaking role of motherhood to benefit my children and to benefit me.

From what I have witnessed, motherhood is heart-wrenching, soul-stirring work. All mothers will most certainly struggle in one way or another. Such struggles and sorrows come, no doubt, because of how deeply you love your children.

So, today I would like to say publicly to my mother, to my wife and to all the mothers in this community a heartfelt thank you!

Thank you for what you do for your sons and daughters. Thank you for bearing us up, for shaping our souls, for forming our character. Thank you for carrying us and lifting us on days when our heads have hung down — we have needed someone to talk to, you were there.

Thank you for your tireless and never-ending labor for our well-being. From dishes and laundry to carpooling and soccer games, from late night heartfelt prayers on our behalf to hugs and motherly encouragement, this has been most certainly a labor of love and perhaps of tears as we have let you down on so many occasions. Thank you for delivering us from childishness and poor choices as you have taught and nurtured us all these years.

I can pay no higher tribute to anyone, anywhere in this world.

Dear mothers everywhere — We love you!

Dr. Aaron Christopher serves patients at Walla Walla Orthodontics. He can be contacted by calling or texting (509) 525-7030 or by emailing info@w2ortho.com.