The first time I blogged on Mother’s Day (many years ago), I reflected on some of the lessons I’ve learned. If only I had known…
Today I’ll do the same. Although…
The last time I did this, my mother was not pleased. I arrived late to the Mother’s Day festivities because the Sunday morning’s service inspired me. I had to go home and reflect. I had to write these thoughts down. Had I known that might be a pivotal moment, I’d have proceeded differently.
Or would I have…?
My mother was so upset with my late arrival. I tried to explain that I was “creating” hoping that she’d be proud. Instead the focus was on how I disappointed her on her special day.
Although I disagree with the mindset that my ex-wife possessed, which is that Mother’s Day should not entail spending time with our kids, I respected her decision. And on her day, I obliged.
MY mother, on the other hand, celebrated much differently. It’s been a tradition for my brother and I to do chores ALL day for my mom on Mother’s Day. We would be expected to do WHATEVER she needed done. She wanted us to show our love through service.
But over the years, the concept has become so diluted that we refrain from what inevitably becomes conflict; riddled with resentment, guilt, and passive aggressive behavior.
My brother would arrive late, indulge in the multiple 40oz Malt Liquors for whom my mom had stocked the refrigerator, partake in the herb, and settle in with the latest bootleg. I, on the other hand, would go to church to get spiritual filled, stop by the local nursery to get a plant for mom, and come dressed to labor.
I’ve learned over the years that arriving late served me too. I don’t have to do ALL the work. The praise my mom gave me didn’t compare to the praise my older brother got for doing nothing.
So today I reflect on what I’ve learned from my mom. She’s taught me to learn from other people’s mistakes (including her own). She never taught me not to condemn others though, so pardon me if this goes askew.
1) “Do as I say, not as I do!”
2) “I’m the parent, respect me as it says in the Bible!”
3) “I brought you in this world, I can take you out…!”
4) “Manipulate whoever you can to get what you want.”
5) “You’re my favorite child (until I meet my grandchildren).”
6) “Don’t bring any bring me any grandchildren before their time!”
7) “Mental health is important (because you’re father is crazy)”
8) “I won’t visit you in jail, so don’t get arrested.”
9) “If you cross me, I’ll call the cops, make false allegations at your job, and spread awful rumors about you to our family, the church congregation, and all of your ex-girl friends who are still on my Christmas card list.”
10) “You only get one mother, so treat her right.” Wait! My step father told me that last one just before he made her a widow for the first time.
Somethings we just can’t take back. But we can always learn. “A wise man learns from another man’s mistake.”