Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mom



As you all know, today is Mother's Day. A day to reflect back on our mothers and what they have meant to us all through the years. The bedtime stories, the hot chicken soup and crackers while we sat on the couch with a cold watching cartoons, and the countless ass wipes when we were in diapers.

So what does it all mean, having a mother who loves and cares for you and supports you throughout your entire, pathetic existence? Sadly, not everyone benefits from such an experience. I was fortunate enough to have lived a very good childhood with parents who loved and cared for me. I grew up knowing they were there and knowing they would never let me down. So many times over the years when I meet new people (OK, meet new women. Guys don't care about this type of shit, and let's face it. Women are impressed when we speak highly of our mothers. So ladies, if you're out there I have some great stories to share. You'll be mesmerized and find me hard to resist. That is until I start talking about anything else.) and I tell talk about my childhood and especially what my mother meant to me over the years they smile, but sadly proclaim "That's really nice, Dave. You are so lucky. I never had that growing up." Well, today I am going to share my mother with all of you who didn't have a mother like that growing up. But after today, that's it. She's mine. Get your own God damn mother.

My mother, who shall remain nameless since this is the Internet after all and I don't need her getting spammed with Viagra ads or instant messenger invites from all you skeevy perverts, is a lovely woman with one of the gentlest souls of anyone I have ever known. Picture Edith Bunker, but not as passive when it comes to sticking up for herself. And truthfully, she's a little smarter, too. She stands a whopping 5'2" on a good day but she has the power to engage you in conversation with her even if you really don't feel like talking. And for those of you who know me, if I don't feel like talking I won't. But I find myself spilling my guts to her without even thinking twice.

Growing up I never wanted for affection, love, and understanding from my mother. She seemed to just give that so naturally and easily. It was if she didn't even have to try. It was just her nature. She used to tell me I was little shadow, always following her around the house. Hell, if she ever stopped short, I would be a freckle. Was I a momma's boy? I suppose. Am I now? Sometimes. Hey, don't judge. It's for my own benefit. I can walk into that house to this day and still come out with a batch of homemade sauce that she saved just for me. Laugh all you want, but I bet it shits all over any slop you could come up with. And speaking of which, there was nothing better than being outside all day playing in the snow and coming into the house and smelling that sauce simmering on the stove. And like clockwork, I would grab a piece of bread and "test" it to make sure it was OK. The minute she heard the lid come off the pot she would yell "Hey, what the hell are you doing?" "Nothing, Ma. Just testing the sauce to make sure you didn't screw it up." and she would laugh.

My mother and I would play games all the time. Chutes and Ladders, Memory, etc. But my favorite was hide and seek. I would hide under the sink and she would pretend to look for me. Calling my name as I giggled. She would find me then make me laugh so hard I would get uncontrollable hiccups until I couldn't breathe.

My love of reading comes from my mother. She would always have a book in her hand and I used to grab my books and sit next to her on the couch and read with her. To this day, I am always have my face in a book. It could be in a lot worse places.

When I played baseball and basketball in grammar school, it wasn't just my father who would attend the games. She was right there cheering me on. Although after that time I got nailed in the shoulder while up at bat and dropped to the ground like a baby seal getting clubbed, I think she showed up less and less.

Help with homework? Yup. Listen to me ramble on and on about Star Wars? Usually. Beam with pride every time I brought home a report card? Sure. Make my peanut butter sandwiches just the way I liked them? Every single time. Smile at me and tell me she loved me? More times than I can count.

But my mother wasn't wall fun and games. She was tough, too. "Wait until your father gets home" was never uttered in our household. She took care of it right then and there. Like the time I was 10 and got into a verbal shouting match with one of the neighbor's kids up the street. I called that little prick every name in the book. And then Lisa Soucy ratted me out. Told my mother EVERYTHING that I said, word for word. Let's just say that momma wasn't proud of her little darlin' son anymore. I ate about 2 1/2 bars of Ivory soap that day.

As I ventured into my teenage years and eventually adulthood (some would debate that I still have not made it to that point yet)I began to see my mother through a different set of eyes. I began to see the woman behind the "Mom" and started to appreciate everything she has done over the years. And after having a child of my own, that picture grew bigger and brighter as time went on. The love, patience, happiness, worry, sacrifice and enormous sense of pride in your child is something her and I both share today. And when I see her interact with my daughter in the same manner as when I was a kid, it takes me back to a time in my life that I wouldn't change for the world.

I love you, Mom. Always have, and always will. Now go make me a sandwich. Your baby boy is hungry again......






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