Steve Meade fondly remembers his mother’s love of children.

During a Wednesday visit to Alice’s Wonderland, a Benevilla playground in Surprise named after his late mother, Meade recalled many fond childhood memories.

Usually, everyone always thinks their mom is the best, Meade said.

“Of course, I think that about my mom,” Meade said. “When I think of unconditional love, I think of her.”

Meade said he doesn’t need this weekend’s Mother’s Day holiday to prompt cheerful memories of Alice.

“I feel that we had a pretty good relationship, I know that she loved me,” Meade said. “She was a very good mother, she was always concerned with raising us correctly, me and my sisters.”

Meade, now the president of his father’s company, Ken Meade Realty, said his mother would usually let him and his two sisters make their own decisions, for better or for worse, which helped them develop and learn.

“She would never say ‘I think that’s a bad idea’ or ‘I don’t think you should do that,’” Meade said.

His mother didn’t make him feel obligated to do anything, Meade said, but at the same time, she was always looking out for her children.

The family didn’t keep soda in the refrigerator when he was growing up because his mother said it hadn’t yet been proven safe to drink, Meade said.

“That’s the way it was with a lot of things,” Meade said.

The family would have small desserts like Jell-O, or just one cookie or piece of pie, Meade said. Even though his mother didn’t like to cook, the family didn’t go out to eat all the time.

“Even if we went out just to Taco Bell, that was a big affair,” Meade said.

Meade also remembers some of his mother’s personal qualities that shaped their household.

“She was pretty organized and methodical,” Meade said.

Even when she wanted to travel, Meade said she didn’t like leaving the comfortable structure she knew, so she would plan trips.

“She liked a lot of structure,” Meade said.

When he was younger, Meade remembers having long conversations with his mother, updating her on his life, and in some cases, probably oversharing a bit.

“She spent a lot of time with us, took a lot of interest in us,” Meade said, which helped him as an adult.

Meade said he feels he has qualities from his mother and father.

“My dad and my mom, in many ways, were opposites,” Meade said. “And they made that work.”

Both of Alice’s parents were from Germany, Meade said, and she grew up during the Depression, two facts that shaped her into a financially conservative woman.

His father, Ken, changed his habits to please her, Meade said.

His father was more of an optimist, while “the glass was always half empty for my mom,” Meade said. “She wasn’t negative, just practical.”

Meade said he feels like he has both the optimism and practicality from both parents. Because of the business aspect, Meade feels like his father is a huge influence on him, but before the two started working together, he would have said his mother was a bigger inspiration to him.

“I owe so much to my dad, but I owe so much to my mom, too,” Meade said.

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