TODAY's Takeaway: Kevin Durant's mom says to put kids first; Carson tells tales of his tats

Wanda Pratt, Carson Daly, Grace Bush TODAY; Reuters
Wanda Pratt, Carson's tat, and Grace Bush in her graduation hat.

1. In his heartfelt acceptance speech for his first MVP award on Wednesday, NBA superstar Kevin Durant called his mother, Wanda Pratt, "the real MVP" in a touching tribute. "I expected him to mention me, but I didn't know it would be to that magnitude,'' Pratt told TODAY in a live interview Thursday. 

She also advised moms "to never give up, to always put your children first, to always commit yourself to their dreams, their aspirations and their goals even when it gets hard.''

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Kevin Durant's mom: 'Always put your children first'

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2. According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 40 percent of Americans say someone in their household has a tattoo. And one of them is Carson Daly.

The TODAY anchor revealed his eight tattoos in the Orange Room Thursday morning. And it turns out every picture on his skin tells a story.

3. Sixteen-year-old Grace Bush's goal is to become Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. And she's already well on her way.

Last Friday, one week before her high school graduation, Grace donned a cap and gown for another auspicious ceremony: Her college graduation. While completing her high school coursework on an accelerated schedule, she simultaneously earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in Spanish from a Florida university.

“I think anyone my age can do what I did,” she told TODAY.com. “It’s not hard — it’s just hard work.”

Grace Bush Andrew Innerarity / Reuters
Grace Bush poses at her home in West Park, Florida, May 6, 2014, Last week, just days before her high school graduation, 16-year-old Bush collected a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from a south Florida university.

4. In nearly five years of marriage to a Navy man, Maggie Coday has given birth to three boys, said goodbye to her husband for two deployments, and endured two cross-country moves. On Thursday, TODAY brought her to New York for what she thought was a story about what it’s like to be a military mom.

But then, as part of TODAY’s "Mom’s the Word" celebration, the surprises began. First, her husband, Chris Coday, walked out with flowers and gave her a big hug. Then Savannah Guthrie presented the couple with the honeymoon they never had: a seven-night vacation to Mexico. “That’s awesome!” Maggie said. 

5. Wichita Falls, Texas, is so dry that the city of 100,000 has built a 13-mile pipeline connecting its waste treatment plant directly to a second facility that purifies drinking water. That means treated wastewater will soon flow out of household taps.

Despite public officials' assurances that the water is perfectly safe, some residents are calling the process “toilet to tap” and have already switched to bottled water. "Just the very thought that you might be drinking your own wastewater is never comforting,” said one.

And that's TODAY's Takeaway!

Follow Rick Schindler on Twitter.

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