Mother’s Day is on Sunday, so let’s take a few moments to recognize the incredible ladies who molded us into who we are today. Whether you want to admit it or not, Mothers, we are all your fault.
Being a mother is something I will never experience. I don’t have the plumbing for it, nor do I have the patience, wisdom, or stamina. You know what? Let me back up for a minute. Any woman with a working uterus and ovaries can be a mother. I am talking about a Mama. There is a difference. A mother might decide that raising a child is too much for her and will abandon the child in a little basket on a doorstep (if the kid is lucky). A Mama will sometimes decide that raising a child is too much for her, but she will just toss back a glass (bottle) of wine and go back to being a Mama.
Mama’s have a tough job. No offense to the Daddy’s out there. We will cover your role in child rearing next month for your day. Just know that Mamas work way harder than Dad’s. Don’t argue, dads, just accept it and go back to sleeping in front of the TV. The hard work begins almost immediately as Mama’s nourish us from their own bodies. You selfishly take a substantial portion of your Mama’s nourishment as you lazily float around inside the womb. This arrangement will not improve, by the way. Later as a teenager, you will eat a substantial portion of your Mama’s food as you lazily lounge around the house.
You are quite an ungrateful parasite, too. Once you develop arms and legs, you begin to punch and kick your Mama’s insides. You also find great pleasure in pushing on your her bladder until it can hold no more than seven drops of liquid. You do this because it is fun for you when she runs to the bathroom. Like an amusement park ride. You therefore make it happen every 48 seconds.
Finally, the big day arrives when you tire of the accommodations and decide to move out of your Mama’s belly. You could make it easy on her and slip out when you are the size of a walnut. You could, but you don’t. You wait until you have reached the approximate size of a Rocky Mountain boulder, then you force your way out causing your Mama more pain than the human body is designed to tolerate. When you make it out, you are a slimy, smelly creature screaming at the top of your tiny lungs. It is a terrible experience for all involved. Despite all of this, your Mama’s first thoughts when they lay you in her arms and she stares at your molting-lizard-like appearance is that you are beautiful and perfect. Your first thoughts are, “I’m hungry and need money for something.”
As the years go by, your Mama changes diapers filled with substances that are banned by fourteen environmental treaties. She warns you about the dangers of making goofy faces because they may stay that way forever. She reads bedtime stories to you long after you, and she, should be asleep. She holds you when you’re sad. She delights when you are happy. She brags about you to everyone, going on and on about everything from your first words to your last poop. She does all of this because when she looks at you she doesn’t see what others see. An annoying, filthy, eating-and-pooping machine. She sees a radiant angel put on this earth to prove that perfection is possible. This has lead scientists to study the correlation between childbirth and a Mama’s need for glasses.
At some point you turn into an obnoxious teenager. You think you know everything. You push boundaries. You break curfew, talk back, and wreck cars. You dress weird and listen to loud music. You spend days with a frown on your face for no apparent reason. You are convinced that everyone hates you. And you are right. No one even wants to be around you you. Except your Mama. She sees it as a phase you are going through. Yes, she thinks your clothes and music are weird, but to her it is just part of your creativity and charm. To everyone else, it is a manifestation of psychosis. She gets frustrated with you, there is no way around that. Who can blame her? You act like a reanimated zombie sloth one minute and a hyperactive Tasmanian Devil the next. Every other person on the planet avoids you at all costs, while your Mama brings you brownies and milk. You respond to her offering of confectionary love with a grunt or, if you are in a good mood, a mumbled, “Whatever.” I don’t even know how you stand yourself. I am completely baffled at this woman’s love for you.
You make it through those awkward, loathsome times thanks in no small part to your Mama protecting you from the rest of humanity who want nothing more than to flay you in a public square. The time now comes for you to spread your wings and fly. Your Mama reluctantly nudges you out of the nest and into your own life. Mama can’t care for you and protect you like she used to. Oh, but she will try. She will offer to have words with your boss and explain to him why her baby better get the promotion or Mr. Boss Man will have trouble sitting down for a few days. She will shovel copious amounts of food down your throat when you feel blue, or in celebration of an accomplishment, or in recognition of a new haircut. She will continue to offer advice, which will make much more sense as you get older. There will come a day when you realize that your Mama knew what she was talking about all those years. She wasn’t just making your life a living hell because she could. On that day, if you’re lucky, your Mama will be around so you can give her a hug. And she will make you a meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn, biscuits, a strawberry pie…
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mamas!
But especially mine! Love You Best!