I like Mother's Day. Not as much as I like Father's Day when I can get in on the Father's Day bargains at clothing and sporting goods stores. But still I like it.
I approve of motherhood in general without which I would not be typing this and you would not be reading it. But Moms deserve a special day, if not a special place in Heaven for no other reason than they lugged us around inside their bellies for 9 months. That is no small feat and is not to be taken lightly. My own mother did it three more times after having me.
It is my honor and privilege to be spending a great deal of time with a mom type nowadays. She's got 2 kids. The girl is fixing to head off for college. The boy is heading into high school where he is preparing to play football. I don't see much of the girl. She is pretty much busy being the star in her own movie. I don't mean that in a bad way. She has a boyfriend. She has her friends. She has a bent for social activism that I can kind of relate to. And she is going off to college in St. Louis to enter the marketplace of ideas with a bunch of other really smart people. Her focus is elsewhere. She is outta here. I get it.
The boy is pretty uncomplicated and user-friendly. He's quiet like his mother and he favors her physically as well. Like her, he is an athlete, tall and strong. He is currently spending most weekends playing AAU basketball. While I tend to view AAU ball as a continuing criminal enterprise as much as anything, he's a good ballplayer and I enjoy watching him play. I also like being around him and I think the feeling is mutual if for no other reason than I usually have a hundred bucks on me at all times which comes in handy at the drive-thru. The boy can put it away. It's an awesome thing to behold.
I guess M is like most Moms in that she is a worrier. I suppose when you put kids on this Earth you tend to have a constant parade of horribles going down the Main Street of your consciousness at least until they get into Med school or otherwise get their feet on the ground. Maybe "worry" is too strong a word. Our mutual friend K seems to prefer the word "fret." So we'll go with that.
Now as fretty as these two gals can get, they cannot hold a candle to the near constant free floating anxiety that my own sainted late mother could put out. As I have said Donice Bowen saw a bear in every window. 24-7. For some reason this long repressed memory just bubbled up to the top as I consider this: I remember my brother Dave and I bought an FM converter to install in whatever piece of crap vehicle we were driving at the time.
Our mother naturally opposed this. Her reason? Because we might be busy tuning into a station while crossing a railroad track and get crushed by an oncoming train. Really. It wasn't sufficient for her to fret about the prospect of mere inattentive driving on our part while trying to tune into the Stones. No. She immediately cast her mind into my brother and I perishing in a common disaster of operatic proportions as the natural and proximate consequence of our purchase of a 25 buck appliance from Radio Shack.
I am not making this up. This is the way my poor mother tended to regard life. It must have been a terrible way to live.
I don't know that any of the moms I am privileged to have in my orbit are quite at the level of-well-pathology as was my mother. But they all do tend to worry. Whereas Dads on the other hand tend not to worry too much as a class. The ones I know more or less expect something stupid to happen eventually as a matter of course. Dads tend to prefer to deal with problems on a transactional basis for lack of a better way of putting it.
It is my hope that on this one day set aside to honor mothers everywhere that they can turn the volume down on the parade of horribles and just enjoy themselves.
Except that you know you shouldn't have spent that much on the gift. There are better uses for the money.
You know she will say it.