My mom worried that my youngest brother Kyle and I would not be close.
She worried that the 10 years that separated us would be too big of a gap to bridge brotherhood, to bridge conversation.
So mom decided that I, an innocent 10 year old, should witness Kyle’s birth, as a means of bonding us, so we would always have something to talk about.
“Hey brother, do you remember sliding down mom’s birth canal?”
“Well I sure do! Can you pass the peanuts?”
I recall walking into the delivery room…
… ripe with innocent enthusiasm, expecting to see a smiling stork glide through an open window and present us with a freshly baked child.
Instead, I staggered away from the “miracle”, grizzled like a Normandy invasion survivor– through the double doors and into the waiting room–wide-eyed, shell-shocked and afflicted with a head full of visual shrapnel never to be plucked from my memory.
Despite this, I’ve grown to appreciate my mom’s worry and concern. In fact, worrying is one of the many things that moms do really well, and get little credit for.
On this Mother’s Day weekend and I wanted to offer appreciation for moms. I want to thank my mom, my wife and moms everywhere for providing the world with some much needed mom worry. For having the selflessness to worry about things that help keep humanity alive, comfortable and prospering.
I love my children. I really do. But I have never thought to myself, “Self, your children’s feet are growing by the minute, maybe you should turn off the TV and get your kids some new shoes.” Moms constantly worry about their kid’s shoes. Are they too tight? Too worn? Are they crushing their little toes? Do they make my child look homeless?
On the mom utility belt–the Purell hangs next to a travel pack of tissues which hangs next to a bottle children’s Tylenol.
Children are gross and it’s understandable that moms sanitize everything. From shopping carts to monkey bars to toothbrushes, if it wasn’t for the hyper-sterility of moms, the Black Plague would have eaten the world into oblivion.
Speaking of the Black Plague, lice and their little white eggs have been infesting children’s head and the nightmares of moms since the 14th century.
Clean and folded clothes
Moms always worry that everyone in the house has clean and wrinkle-free clothing to wear. And now that I have three children, I understand how much clothing these critters tear through each week. Doing loads of wash every Saturday is heroic, but folding all those clothes in neat, stacked piles is superhuman.
This needs no explanation.
School Picture Day
Moms worry about school picture day. A lot. They worry about everything involved in picture day. Did I buy the right picture package? Is there enough wallets for Aunt Edna and Uncle Earl? Is there enough money in the envelope? Will my child smile? Is my child capable of smiling without looking psychotic?
My mom is the reason my picture graced the school yearbook every year. If it wasn’t for her concern, there may not be any visual evidence of me attending St. Ephrem Elementary between the years of 1986 through 1994.
The problem is…moms just care too much.
They sacrifice sleep, go gray and entertain ulcers thinking and worrying about the welfare of others. Motherhood is a selfless odyssey. One spent catering to the needs, demands and grabbiness of children and husbands.
Frankly, I don’t know how moms do it.
But humanity and I are truly grateful that you do.
And In case you’re wondering…
…Kyle and I are still close. And honestly, our closeness has nothing to do with me witnessing his birth. We just both like baseball.