Mothers. An Essential Service

Mother’s Day lands on people in different places. Some people have lost their moms and it can be a bittersweet day of gratefulness and loss.

The older I become the more I tend to appreciate the sweet / salty aspects of life and how to laugh and cry on the same day. At least we are alive enough to FEEL.

Others mourn their inability to conceive children, while it must be said in days of self isolation others may secretly wish to give the children they do have away. Only moms with less than two children will fail to chuckle at the reality of that thought.

But there is a deeper aspect of mothering to explore, and that is that no person at any age becomes a dream-fulfiller without the influence of a mom’s most potent weapons: Nurture and Belief.

My mom’s name is Beth and she’s amazing.

She is an Irish firecracker who has no issue at all getting up in my business if she sees something she doesn’t like.

What comes to mind is her open disagreement to our poor- behaviour- curbing- techniques when our girls were young. I do recall staring at her in disbelief at the grandmother-perceived age a child is allowed to be disciplined (which it should be noted had risen sharply since I was that age:).

I stood there in shock and said “Mom! Perhaps you’ve forgotten Richard Kope’s Boot Camp when I was young??” — further proof that evil can definitely exist in toddlers of a certain, shall we say, temperament?

“Also”, I argued, “How many kids did YOU raise? Two? Hmmm. We have four! Man to man defence DOES NOT WORK anymore!!”

“Oh mom. By the time I was four dad sat on the throne of discipline anyways because I could outrun you…” (is what I really wanted to say).

NEVER outrun your mother when it’s your time to die because you’re an idiot. Just get caught and take it.

NEVER make your mom say “Yeah?? Wait until your father gets home!” (Especially if you had my father).

NEVER let your mom know her punishments scratch an “amusing itch” for you.

And never, under any circumstance slow your running enough for her to hear you sing “Have patience. Have patience. Don’t be in such a hurry!” to her.

Should’ve been buried in the front yard as a sign to other stupid children not to mouth off their moms.

Mom was an untouchable entity in our home and I appreciated that. Dad would take a bit of kidding and was himself sarcastic enough to enjoy a clever mind, but a joke levelled at mom raised his eyebrow.

Some dads threaten a million times and never do anything. My dad raised one eyebrow and counted silently down from 5 seconds. If repentance and apology did not fill that gap one had a much worse decision to make:

Try to bluff it out with no cards (dad didn’t need anything I had), or move to Mexico and find a family there who didn’t mind the presence of a moron who didn’t speak their language.

…. Or report for much worse duties immediately and get the punishment over with so life could return to normal.

My mom brought spice and fire to life. She also believed in me so much that she saw past how complicated and shocking it must have been raising a little guy who just had to test the boundaries constantly, and believe I would turn into a productive member of society.

She believed all my evil genius could be turned into actual genius. It remains to be seen if that is actually true, but I don’t really care what you think because my mom believes in me.

She never accepted a lazy attempt and taught me to hate failure.

I see too many children now being raised to accept failure and character flaws, and then turn and demand everyone who has to live with them do the same.

She also taught me to find the lesson and humility in every mistake so I could get better and mature past the person I was into the person she knew I could be.

Though her role in my life is not the same as it was, it is just as important to me. She said in a recent interview at Venue for Mother’s Day that her role has changed (she doesn’t correct or direct anymore and doesn’t offer counsel unless asked), but now I’m maybe more grateful that she nurtures the dreams in my daughters.

She does the same for many people in her church family. She sees what God sees and calls people up to it. And believe me, she will tell you if she thinks you could do better.

So here is to moms wherever they may be. May we protect them and love them. May we make them proud. May we care for them and see their dreams come true.

And may God forgive us and strike memories of “Have patience. Have patience. Don’t be in such a hurry!” forever from their hearts…

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