Monday, May 7, 2007

The Mother Pedestal

I remember clearly one day when I was a teenager.

Wait a minute - backtrack - that's not really how I wanted to start this post. I gotta give you a little background. We never had a dishwasher when I was growing up. My mom got one a couple years ago, after 60 years of doing them by hand.

Anyway, although I can't say I was worked to death while growing up, I can say . . . . . . Actually, I can't even say anything close. I had to do an occasional chore, and that was about it. I watched my little brother, and helped around the house a bit. But, from the time I was in 8th grade, I had a part-time job - and I played that card over and over, and it admittedly got me out of lots of housework. But, sometimes, my chore was doing the dishes.

Nevertheless . . . . . as I've mentioned in previous posts, my mom was "the chick". Just the right amount of tough and love put together - always worked her tail off, was always there to support whatever activities I was involved in (which were many), and always kept our house running--it wasn't always a perfect house, but somehow that wasn't important.

So, after years of doing all this Superwoman stuff, I decide, in my infinite teenage wisdom, to give my mom a compliment. I am certain, that at this point in my life, I had never expressed even a fraction of the appreciation that I had for her. So, on this day, I am doing the dishes with my usual attitude and vigor, and my mom is in the kitchen doing something else - probably baking up one of her famous masterpieces of some sort - could have been cookies, pecan pie, oatmeal cake, or any other number of things.

I said - "Mom, do you know one thing I've always admired about you?"

Keep in mind here, I could have picked any of 1000 things to compliment my mom on, and been right on the money.

"What?" she asks.

Now that I am a mom, even if only for 7 years, I know the anticipation this question probably held with it. She was probably thinking - wow, I really am doing a good job, and now my daughter is going to let me know . . .

"The way you can always stack like 1,000,000 dishes on this drying rack, and they never fall down."

Wow. I was a 4.0 student, and that's what I came up with? I remember thinking, even then, what a stupid thing to say! Obviously, it's stuck with me, and I was reminded of it again, based on a compliment from my son this week - which I will detail in tomorrow's post.

And as I watch my mom today, still keeping our family running, and now playing with grandkids and attending their activities, evermore with that perfect combination of tough and love, I can say . . .

"Mom, you know one thing I've always admired about you?"
.
.
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"Me neither - can't narrow it down to one thing. It's just every little thing that makes you - the Mires toughness, the fierce protector of your family, the loving grandma, the supportive mom, the most wonderful friend. What would I do without you?"

Tomorrow, I will help you get a little revenge for my silly comment those years ago. Remember you always said things come back around? Whether good or bad? Well, this one came back around, in a way that only a 7-year-old boy can do. So, tomorrow, I will share with you the sock story . . .

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