A Tribute to My Mother
“Wow, Laura! You’re ready to be a mom.” Those words were said by my mother from the front seat of the car. I was in the back alternately yelling for dad to stop the car and gagging.
I was all of 14 years old, but my little brother had just thrown up, and I’d done my best to catch it in my hands. I knew if it hit the carpet, mom would spend 45 minutes scrubbing the floor of the car.
Once dad had pulled the car to the side of the road, I pushed the door open with my feet and wiped my hands in the grass. After I’d sterilized my hands on wipes, I crawled back into the car. Mom was gratefully applauding me from the front seat. “When you’ve caught vomit in your hands, you’re ready to be a mother,” she said.
As Mother’s Day approaches, we will undoubtedly be subjected to saccharin sweet poems with titles such as “A Mother’s Gentle Touch” or “A Mother’s Prayer.” The sentiment is nice, but the poems tend to paint a picture of a woman sitting in a rocking chair, an open Bible in her lap, a perpetual look of peace on her face, and a little yellow halo floating above her head. I don’t picture this woman catching vomit in her hands.
I’m a firm believer that all moms should possess a gentle touch and definitely spend time praying for their children. I don’t, however, buy into this fake picture of a woman who never had a cross thought in her life. Moms carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. From the moment their children are born, moms consider what the world holds in store for them. Moms suffer through all of their children’s disappointments, many times more severely than the actual child suffers. She will be subject to horribly embarrassing moments inflicted by the senseless behavior of her offspring. Hardest of all, she must possess an iron will to stand firm in the face of conflict and on days when the hard decisions she makes are not appreciated.
On Mother’s Day, you will see many women stand to accept the accolades poured forth, but all mothers are not equal. I was fortunate to have one of the best. My parents raised five children. As adult children, we admire and respect them.
I’m not poetic; so instead of a sweet poem, here’s my list of what it takes to be an outstanding mom:
- Selflessness – Mom did not feel sorry for herself even though she often did without.
- Consistency – If mom threatened, she followed through. Rules were always enforced even when mom didn’t feel like fighting the battle.
- Love – She loved us enough to spank us so that we could learn what consequences were.
- Humor – Mom laughed at herself so that we could learn to do the same.
- Fun – Mom played with us.
- Responsible – We didn’t resent our younger siblings because mom didn’t make us into surrogate parents. She did teach us about work – gardens are great for that.
- Attentiveness – Mom listened when we were excited, sad, depressed, angry, frustrated, and disappointed. She celebrated our victories and grieved our defeats.
- Prayer and Dependence on God – Mom did a whole lot of praying.
Thank you mom for playing with us, teaching us, cheering us on, catching our vomit, and being one in a million!
“Her children rise up and call her blessed;” Proberbs 31:28a