To My Ma, on Mother’s Day

You’re not here with us anymore, having moved to your mansion in our Father’s House; but there’s one thing I want to say to you that I never got around to saying while you were still present to hear it.

When I was a little boy, I was so proud of you for doing things that none of the other kids’ mothers, in our neighborhood, ever did–although they were as young as you were.

You rode a bike, helped teach me how to hit a softball, played chess and monopoly with kids and teenagers, played with us when we played volleyball on the street with Mrs. Thomas’ hedge for a net, and sometimes taught bunches of us kids how to play the games you played as a girl (“You may take three baby steps”–remember that one?). I could’ve burst my buttons, I thought it was so cool when you did all those things. I wish I’d thought to tell you so! But I’m afraid that was one of those things that children take for granted.

Nor do I forget how you watched U.N. meetings when they used to be on public TV, with me sitting with you on the sofa, and taught me all about the assorted world leaders and their countries, who they were and what they were trying to accomplish.

I think we both realized, after very many years, that if ever anybody was a chip off the old block, I was a chip off yours.

I would not be me if you had not been you.

P.S.–My wife wishes me to add that she and my mother were the best of friends: “And how many wives can say that about their mother-in-law?” It’s quite true, though. Nor will I ever forget my mother advising me, after she’d met Patty a few times, “Don’t you dare let that one get away!”

4 comments on “To My Ma, on Mother’s Day

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your mom, Lee. She sounds very special – and she must have been because the result of her efforts is very evident. Thank you for this. We can all reflect on how special our moms were and how much they have affected who we became.

  2. This is a very touching post! An involved mom! She would have been cool to know.

  3. What a wonderful mother you had. I did a lot of these things with my younger son as he was growing up. His brother was four years older and their dad always took him along, so it was I who taught my “baby” to fish, shoot targets, went on picnics in the woods and for drives in the country, played the piano, etc. all the stuff a boy likes to do. It was fun, and our closeness remains now that he is 54. We are still best friends.

Leave a Reply