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Be careful out there. It's getting darker. The dark is coming earlier in the afternoon and lasting until later in the morning.

News that Ucore Rare Metals is proceeding to the next step in its process toward developing a mine at its Bokan Mountain/Dotson Ridge property on the southeast coast of Prince of Wales Island should be viewed positively — despite coming at a difficult time for the rare earth element mining sector.

Letty Eileen Cole, 93, died on Oct. 15, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Susan Marie Mallott Patrick, 58, died Oct. 11, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Daniel Edward Hines, 47, died Oct. 11, 2014, in Juneau after a nine-month battle with brain cancer.

What’s the big deal, anyway? What have moms done for us, really?

The moms among us will tell you that Mother’s Day is backwards: Don’t thank us — we are the lucky ones. We are the ones who should be saying thanks, because there is scarcely a greater privilege in human experience than that of being a mother.

Hell’s bells — biological moms don’t even have to take a test to be mothers. Sometimes, we feel as if that is obvious because, if we were tested, we know we often would fail.

But our kids love us anyway. They trust us. They look up to us as if we can’t be wrong (unless we disagree with the second-grade teacher — then all bets are off). They make us cards and draw us pictures and, when they get older, call us on the phone to tell us they love us.

Some of our kids text us surreptitiously from trivia contests to find out whether Lucille Ball was “I Love Lucy.”

Our kids carry out the garbage. They braid our hair. They help us learn to put on that make-up that on them, looks fine, but on us, before they show us how to do it right, looks like clown gear.

Our kids know us in our youth (though they think we are old). They see us age. They tell us truths about ourselves that no one else knows or, more frequently, that no one else has the nerve to tell us.

As we worried about them, they worry about us.

One thing our kids don’t worry about, though, is do we love them? That, they can take to the bank. That, perhaps, is the big deal about moms.

Still and all: Moms are the lucky ones. Kids, you can take that to the bank.