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Start Celebrating Mom Now!

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By Bill Koch, editor

She lay their screaming, uttering highly uncomfortable and very unlady-like phrases, threatening the destruction of all mankind if she survived your arrival.

She sweated. She growled. She spat. And she wept – and not for your little darlingness.

You were the pain. You were the problem. You were the cause of it all – you and that dang father of yours!

And finally. Finally! Following the screams, the earth-wrenching howls, the amazingly eerie teeth gnashing, you arrived. In one ugly, slimy, little mess, with your misshapen head, your crinkled face, your flopping, awkward limbs. And all you could do, after Dr. Johnny Bench slapped your little hiney, is make some strange screeching noise.

No “thank you, mom.” No “Are you all right, dear mother?” None of that. As she lay heaving, barely sustaining respiratory health, in one sweaty, soiled mass of exhausted, angry womanhood, she stared at you, in bizarre wonder. You were the object of her delight. You were her beloved – all within the scope of one of eternity’s most artful paradoxes.

And, instead of reprimanding you for causing so much torment and bodily destruction, she wept quietly, beholding your utter weirdness. As if you were – in some statistically improbable manner – beautiful. 

You were her little darling.

And over the years, she celebrated you, in her own particular way. She fed you as you burbled, drooled and put various nauseating gastrointestinal matter to flight.

She wiped your snotty nose, she cooled your feverish forehead, she tacked your works of artistic disgrace on the refrigerator, she listened to your petulant tales of playground disputes and she mostly tolerated your freakish adolescent excursions.

She is your mother. Her day is May 12. That’s Sunday. If she’s still among the living, you need to celebrate her.

It doesn’t matter the lens through which you view her. (That’s your problem. Get over yourself!)

She is, after all, an imperfect human, just like you: emotionally frail at times, perhaps psychologically disorientated at various points in her human growth, maybe disillusioned at times with life and its misfortune and trials.

But she is still your mother. She is the one who cared for you. She is the one who loved you, that little darling you, to the best of her heart’s ability. She is, perhaps in a very uncomfortable sense, you. 

If she lives, if she still remains even on the periphery of your life, you need to attend to her. You need to do what you didn’t do so many, many years ago.

You need to say thank you, mother. Thank you for sacrificing for me. Thank you for loving me in the only way you knew how.

While May 12 is only one day on the calendar, celebrating your mother and the others in your life should be a common practice.

So, here we are together in this column a little more than a week from Mother’s Day 2019. You have time to plan to celebrate your mother.

Don’t just send a card. Don’t just send flowers. Don’t just perform some ceremonial obligation to ease your self-indulgent conscience. Call her. Take her out. Celebrate her. Rejoice with her.

Because one day, you may never have that opportunity again.