Where This Meets That
“Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.”
— William Makepeace Thackeray
You can’t ever fully appreciate a mother’s love for her children until you become one. Being a man, this leaves me at a disadvantage in gaining such an appreciation. And thank God for that.
I’ll never have to keel over while some little gymnast-in-utero swings from my rib cage.
I’ll never have to squeeze a cantaloupe out of my nose (metaphorically speaking. Or literally, for that matter.).
I’ll never have to work to get a baby to “latch on” to my nipples.
I get to sleep at night while my children’s mother stays up mentally readying all their appointments.
And yet, I am only the man I am because one person in the entire history of the world did these things for me. So, while I can perhaps never fully appreciate a mother’s unique love, I still appreciate the hell out of it.
When I was a kid, my mom was my nurse, dowsing skinned knees with Bactine.
She was my cook, whipping up green eggs and ham more than once.
She was my teacher, teaching me to read tricky words like “island” (silent “s”) and “desert” (sanded, not sugared) and when to correctly use “me” and “I”.
She was my protector, escalating words to parents of occasional bullies.
She was my creative enabler, letting me set up afghan forts in the family room (the blankets, not the people) and watching me draw bloody monsters and listen to bloodier rock stars (KISS’s Gene Simmons was my hero).
Sadly, she also was many times my victim. My punching bag of hurtful words and misguided emotions. She didn’t always manage to turn the other cheek, but mostly she did with her trademark feigned nonchalant response, “Well, I’m sorry you feel that way.”
Sadly, I spent very little of my life recognizing a proper appreciation for my mom until I became a father. Now, after nearly 14 years of watching my wife being a mother, I see little short of Christ in the vocation.
I’m blessed today to be surrounded by mothers. My own mother, my wife’s, my wife, a sister, in-laws, and friends, and I am amazed by all of them.
So, to all you mothers out there, I wish you a very happy Mothers Day and offer you my prayers to be the best mothers you can be. We’d be nowhere without you!