Most kids on Mother’s Day buy a heart-shaped box of chocolates to go with the poorly wrapped plastic flowers for $8.99 from Wal-Mart to show how much they care about the woman who raised them. Or of course there is the classic, "I-burnt-this-serving-of-eggs-and-bacon-but-I'm-still-giving-it-to-you-in-bed-with-these-hand-made-oven-mitts" a patented Mother’s Day formula we have all concocted at least once in our life.
On the opposite side, most Moms fit into the typecast mold of women who teach their kids how to tie their own shoes, show them how to iron a pair of slacks, instruct them on how to budget their checking account, or coach them through the popping of their first zit. There are hundreds and thousands of things that "most Moms" do for their children from the ages 0-18, and for many years beyond.
But my Mom isn't like most Moms. My Mom is awesome. And I'm willing to bet she can beat your Mom in a leg-wrestling contest.
For full effect, download "Don't Take Your Guns to Town" by Johnny Cash and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.
If being a Mother means you get handed a plateful of unorganized chaos, with a side dish of “WTF-is-going-on?, meanwhile Karma pulls your chair out from underneath you and makes balancing everything that much harder, with you handling it with a smile on your face like nobody’s business, then that’s my Mom. Who by the way is the bomb.com. How many Moms do you know have to raise a little hellion like me for five years all by themselves? Come on now, we all know calling me a little hellion is an understatement. And after that, how many Moms do you know marry a widower and are thrust into the spotlight trying to raise five girls who just lost their own Mother in a car accident four months prior? Or how about giving birth to five more daughters after that, adding the total number of women she takes care of (not including my Dad) to 10?
How many Moms do you know bury a daughter and a husband within the same year?
Yeah, not too many. But my Mom, she handled it like Job. This woman gets served a bowl full of trials and frustrations and spits them back out like nobody's business. She's that incredible.
When I say she's incredible, I also mean that my Mom is brilliantly smart. My Mom taught me just about everything I know in life. Now I know that sounds like a motivational poster you'll read while sitting in a Doctor’s office, but she really did. She taught me how to read, how to ski, how to dress, how to poo, how to make spaghetti, how to read music, how to wrap Christmas presents, how to open the door for a girl, how to wash my own dishes after dinner, how to change diapers, even how to make my own bed believe it or not. Heck, last week over the phone this lady taught me how to cross-stitch. Yes, true story, a big man like me cross-stitches. So what? My Mom taught me how to do it.
Most of you can toss out the cliché phrase, "My mother has always been with me." Of course she was. She was at your soccer games, at your third grade Christmas plays, and at your high school graduation. But did your Mom give you a hug on behalf of two parents the day she dropped you off by herself to be a missionary? Did your Mom spend every single night with you in the hospital when some guy was digging out your brain? Did your Mom drive 300 miles last week to greet you at the finish line of the Ironman triathlon just to be your personal cheerleader? Because mine sure did, and she was great.
This is the part of my blog where you look up at the ceiling, turn your head slightly to the left, and think about the relationship you have with your own Mother, kind of like I'm coaching you to do right now. This will then be followed by the obligatory phone call serving out the spoon-fed compliments to the woman who raised you, who changed your diapers, who gave you a hug after your first break-up. This might also be followed by a 15-minute reminiscing period once the phone call is over, being grateful for having such a noble woman grace your life. This of course is an annual ritual we all do every second Sunday in May.
But whatever it is you do, be thankful for those sweet ladies today. Go ahead and hand out your cookie-cutter box of chocolates. Gift-wrap that bouquet of store-fed flowers she'll forget about by the end of the week. Burn a package of bacon you'll feed to her in bed, only to leave a sink full of dishes for her to clean up. Do whatever you think is the best way to show your Mom that you love her. Because ultimately we are all ridiculously lucky to have these dear women in our lives, these women who have raised us to be the people we are today, the women who we should ever be grateful for.
I know I am.