Everyday should be Mother’s Day, not because of the extraordinary but because of the mundane and the resulting spin that keeps insanity at bay.
Have you been or recently seen a “mother on the edge”? They are all around you, potty-training two-year olds and driving gaggles of teenagers home from after-school activities. They are lurking just outside the preschool classroom, nervous wrecks as their children leave them for the first time. They are celebrating at the bus stop the first day the kids go back to school after Spring Break. They are eagerly plotting a trip to the college recruiter one minute and boo-hooing at graduation the next. They are illogical and emotionally unstable; therefore in everyone’s best interest we choose to celebrate them every May.
As a child, I had an inkling that motherhood may involve a certain amount of wackiness. Like all children, I was sure that these tendencies were specific to only my mother; thus my brother and I tested them at every opportunity. We managed to watch my mother “lose it” on more than one occasion, much to the amusement of our father. In honor of all mothers, I choose to remember mine:
Because of you, I learned to appreciate a rapport with both the natural and man-made worlds. “Death by Chrysler”: 4000 pounds of American-made steel in the ultimate death match against a 3 pound snake. The rutmarks left in the front yard from the 17-point turn that it took in order to pin the snake remain forever etched in my mind.
Because of you, I learned the power of persistence. When my father chose to wear overalls on a regular basis, you relayed to him in a powerful way just how unattractive they were. Not only did your contrive the bedroom-themed threat, you followed through until he realized it was in his own best interest to discard the offending items.
Because of you, I learned the true nature of fear. When faced with the possibility of a Daddy-Long-Leg losing hold and falling on you from a tree branch above, you (a non-swimmer) chose to avert the impending danger by tipping over the canoe and all contents therein chancing possible drowning.
Because of you, I learned the importance of self-preservation. When faced with the task of grooming your father-in-law’s nostril hair, you readily volunteered your daughter instead and fled the scene—suddenly remembering an important errand left undone.
Because of you I learned the art of “being in the zone”. You had the power to ignore things that would cause other people to wear straight-jackets. Your OCD tendencies provided hours of entertainment as you would straighten the pictures we made crooked, or combed the rug-fringe we flipped up.
Because of you, I have learned to laugh at the things that would make me cry—and to cry at the things that would make me laugh. I have learned to stopper my emotions with sarcasm and wit, and then release them full-force at the worst moments possible.
Every day should be Mother’s Day, not because of some government mandate—but just because; because you are more than just a mother, you are a best friend.
What have you learned from your mother? Share your story in the comments!