Sunday, May 8, 2011

Musings on Mothers

With Mother's Day approaching I thought I would take sometime to reflect on motherhood, from the male perspective, or perhaps just to honor a few mothers I know.

First obviously would be my own mother. She has always been a tough cookie. I think she beat up every boy in her neighborhood when she was growing up, except my dad, and probably only because she liked him. We all know she loves us, but sometimes she can't express it maybe. But I remember once when I was maybe five years old, sick with the flu, just feeling rotten. She got home from work and she took care of me, cuddling me and making sure I was as ok as I could get. I wish I had some of that backbone she has, because I can be pretty weak willed at times and that bothers me.

One thing I did get from her is my faith, I can gripe about the fact I was behind in some of my sacraments, but she made sure I got them. I remember my sisters helped her out in teaching Sunday School. She taught the First Communion class and I finally got a chance in the last year or two she taught it to be her aide. I always liked that. In addition to just being able to help my mom out it was neat to teach the next generation some solid Catholic theology and respect for the Eucharist.

I also remember when I said I wanted to be an Altar Boy, she about died. Telling me I had a hard enough time getting through Mass as it was, she was probably right but the Lord usually kept me on my best behavior when I was on the altar.

For a stretch of my life Saturday late mornings into the early afternoon were our time. We would take her old Trans Am out wash it up, pay some bills and head to the library, or the mall, running errands and hanging out. Whatever we had to do that day we always ended it at Sonic for a cold drink. Good Times.

She's always good for advice too. I remember walking with her before my wedding and talking things out. I needed someone just to tell me to pull my head out and just enjoy the day. Then when Tommy was born I remember asking her how to deal with all of it. She gave me some great advice that I still use today, just get through the next minute, until you get through an hour than keep piling those up until you make it through the day.

So for all the times I have forgotten to say it over my last 30 years. I love you, mom. Thanks for being there, thanks for making sure your kids had someone we knew we could count on.

Of course she had a great example. My Memaw, was a saint whether the Catholic Church ever recognizes it or not. She had to have been to have raised 6 kids and dealt with my grandfather and not killed anyone :-).

I like to think of Memaw before she got sick, but somehow I think she taught me more when she was sick.

I remember when we would go see her at work sometimes, she always had the hook up for a Dum Dum pop. She was always so quiet I think it scared me the handful of times I heard her raise her voice. I think my favorite memory of her has really very little to do with her, other than she and Papaw were present at the time.

My dad and I had got up super early and left Las Cruces headed to Carlsbad for deer hunting, we were hunting our way to grandma's house essentially. We got to their house a little while after hunting had ended for the day and Memaw had a big thing of spaghetti waiting for us. I ate for all I was worth that night, best meal of my life.

Ask me sometime about my other story involving Memaw and deer hunting...but be warned its a little rough....

I still miss her, as we all do, it's hard wanting to show off my boys and my wife and not being able.

Speaking of my wife, how she does what she does I don't know. She is another tough cookie. She wears herself so thin working full-time and then giving her boys everything she has left till bedtime. We have two sons but like most women will tell you she is raising all of us.

But she puts up with me roughhousing the boys all over the house before bedtime on Monday nights for Living Room Wrestling. She puts up with my inability to throw things away immediately, I like to gather it all in at the end of the day, she hates that.

She takes care of all of us in ways she shouldn't have to. Somehow she just grits her teeth and throws her shoulder into it and gets it all done.

I don't think she believes me when I tell her I love the quiet grace she has about herself. She is my anchor. We make a perfect pair seeing as I usually have my head in the clouds and she has her feet firmly on the ground.

I know sometimes I do things that just make her so mad she would like to throw bricks at my head, but she hasn't....yet.

Her boys, all three of them, but especially the little guys just can't wait for Momma to get home at the end of every day. It's like the mommy tug of war as everyone wants a little piece of her. I worry that the two little ones are going to literally slug it out over her lap someday soon.

I know that God blessed me with more than I deserve when He made her fall in love with me. I just pray that someday He will let me pay it all back to her.

It cracks me up, but makes me a little jealous too, that when mommy is home the little man wants nothing to do with daddy. Sometimes she gets home and can't take him right away he will crawl down the hall, saying mom with his every move....cutest thing ever.

I have been blessed, I have gotten to see three truly amazing moms at work and am thankful for their influence and love in my life as it has helped to shape me into the man I am slowly becoming. I had hoped the process would be quicker, but alas.

So tell your mom you love her today, tell her how much she means to you, you might not have many more chances left.

Happy Mother's day to all you mother's out there. You are the first teachers of your children and their first examples of so many things, cherish those duties.

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