The sweetest sounds to mortals given are heard in Mother, Home and Heaven.
– William Goldsmith Brown
I appreciate how you raised me, and all the extra love that you gave me.
– 2Pac, “Dear Mama”
My wife teases me because my “Mommy” does stuff for me. She’ll cook me a favorite dish, sew a missing button, or ask if I need a shirt ironed. I’m not alone, though. The friends I grew up with are all “Momma’s boys” to a certain extent. Although nowhere near to the level of Terrence Jenkins’ character in “Think Like a Man.” If you haven’t seen the movie, go see it! Being the baby of the family, I was both spoiled and immature. Growing up, I embarrassed my mother numerous times.
When I was around third grade, I already learned a bunch of cuss words from the kids at school. Even though I really didn’t know what they meant, they became part of my vocabulary. One day I was playing with this kid Mike who lived down the street. Remember those white colored landscaping rocks that you could draw on the sidewalk with? Well, instead of drawing kid stuff like superheroes or spaceships, I started writing cuss words. Don’t ask me why. I just started writing them. You see where this story is headed, right? Mike’s mom came out, saw the cuss words, and before she could say anything, I knew I was in big trouble. She started yelling at me and told me to go home. A few hours later, she drove by our house when Mom and I happened to be outside (of course I didn’t tell Mom what happened). She rolled down the window and screamed at my Mom, telling her I was no longer welcome at their house. (Mike’s mom even asked her what was wrong with me.) I never saw Mike again.
Another time, when I was around 12, we were at some big Filipino house party. I don’t remember what the celebration was for but it must have been special because I remember there was lechon (roasted pig) there – and a huge ham. The ham was dressed with cherries (yes, cherries) and pineapple on toothpicks. I proceeded to pull the toothpicks out, one-by one, eating all of the cherries and pineapple that decorated the ham. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw two older Filipino ladies looking at me with disbelief and disgust. I heard one of the ladies say in Tagalog – “Kaninong anak iyan?” – which means, “Whose son (child) is that?” The other lady identified me as “Mary’s son.”
Unless you’re mature for your age (which I definitely was not), it can take years before you fully appreciate what your parents have done for you. My mother toiled for years as a labeler in a Campbell Soup factory – working graveyard. I can tell you two things immediately:
1) I wouldn’t last a week working in any factory; and
2) I wouldn’t last a week working graveyard.
My mother did both. We always had the things we needed because of her hard work and sacrifice. Along the way, I picked up her faith in God, the importance of relationships (especially family and friends), and sense of humor…along with an itch for gambling.
Sorry Mom, for having to put up with all of my embarrassing antics over the years. Thanks for all that you have done (and still do) for us. I love you…thanks for taking care of all of us.
To all of the Moms reading this…Happy Mother’s Day!
What’s your favorite memory of your mother?