Honoring Mothers of All Stripes and Types


Bryan Reesman

The chalk board allowed both children and adults alike to fill in the blanks for the sentence: “My mother protects me like a _____ because she _____.”

June 5, 2017

To tie in with their “Protect Like A Mother” promotional campaign, Lysol® held a two-day outdoor public exhibit near Brooklyn Bridge Park on May 20 and 21, 2017. (Lysol is the sponsor for Baby Makes 3.) The overall theme of motherhood featured three prominent elements. Families could take photos to be included in a digital collage display. Children could color and fill out animal-themed cards for their mothers. And a chalk board allowed both children and adults alike to fill in the blanks for the sentence: “My mother protects me like a _____ because she _____.”

The chalkboard created lots of interest over the weekend, and upon closer inspection the fill-in answers written by attendees provided amusing and enlightening answers. People generated strong responses like Tiger and Savage, softer ones like Koala and Cuddle, and off the wall entries like Goat and Eats Cans. What was striking was how many older teens and young adults wanted to offer their thoughts as well, and one could usually distinguish the adult handwriting by its superior spelling and neatness. As one onlooker joked, perhaps the adults were making up for years of not fully appreciating their moms. (Better than late than never, right?) In an interesting reversal, one little girl came with her father and crossed off Mom and replaced it with Dad.

In the center of the exhibit, ten standing photo and text panels allowed families to learn more about motherhood through the animal kingdom, and there were certainly some fascinating facts to be learned. Alligator mamas sometimes shield their young by letting them sit in their mouths. Sea lion moms can distinguish the barks of their babies from a giant pack of their kind. Lion mothers practice “caternity leave” by avoiding predators for three months in dense brush so their newborn cubs can grow safe and sound.

Bryan Reesman
Eagles lay eggs, of course. A giant model of a hatched egg was available for child’s play.

At the craft table area near the golden eagle display, children picked out and colored in animal-themed greeting cards to present to their mothers to show appreciation for them. One of our favorites was “You're My Poison Dart Frog.” First off, how many people have heard of that particular frog? Secondly, the text inside is a great example of the overall card sentiments: “The mother poison dart frog carries back her tadpoles on her back to the tops of trees where they'll be safe. That's one dedicated momma, just like you.”

Beyond the theme of the Lysol campaign, the concept for the cards tied in with Mother's Day, which was when the exhibit was originally planned to be held until rain scuttled those plans and forced a change to the following weekend, which worked out equally fine. It is estimated that 10,000 people walked through the exhibit beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. One interesting side note: The event was to have been held on the pier at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, but the weight of the giant orange orangutan statue and the crane required to assemble it were potentially too heavy!

Beyond absorbing the homage to and strong message about motherhood on display, one could say that the exhibit carried serious weight. Literally.

Bryan Reesman is a freelance journalist in New York City.