The pastor raised his hands, ending his sugary-sweet portrayal of Mom with the grand statement "Moms are the earthly angels of God." Most adults wiped their eyes, sniffed, and patted nearby children on the head. Like everyone else, I felt the tug of pleasant memories and was grateful for a sacrificial mom. Every mom wants to belong to the "mom was the best" club. We all hope the truth surrounding daily chaos won't destroy sweet memories of home.
Sugar-infused Mother's Days are fine, but I think it's also good to look at the reality of motherhood. Giving birth is simple compared to being a respected mom with children held in high regard. It will take God-given intelligence, discipline, and chaos-driven determination for Mom to reach her goals. In his comedy routine about families, Bill Cosby talked about his five children and the mother who cared for them: "No one can take the kind of abuse our kids dish out without being a little nuts."
A mom with long-range goals is not concerned about lavishing gifts and good times on her family. Instead she is preoccupied with providing a foundation that will support her children as they grow into remarkable adults. Love becomes something she does, not something she says. Several children corralled by one overworked mom can turn sugary sweet into "You better get your act together, missy." Instead of being a calorie-laden desert, she has the ability to become a hearty stew that not only satisfies our hunger and comforts our feelings, but prepares us for a better life as well.
Perhaps your mom uses a combination of the following six ingredients to make her stew.
The Tough Instructor
In the daily rush of responsibilities, mom turns into a tough instructor who won't allow her children to use "I can't" as an excuse. "Don't tell me you can't get better grades. If you can read a comic book, you can read Shakespeare." Like a lion protecting her cubs, she won't accept anything but the best from her children. A tough mom will keep the standards high and expect her children to reach for the stars. It's best that observers stay out of the way of a determined mom.
Sam Levenson was an author and humorist from 1956-75. Everything but Money was an account of how his immigrant mother turned his childhood in East Harlem, New York into something wonderful. In spite of the poverty he wrote, "I never felt depressed or deprived. My environment was miserable but I was not. I was a most fortunate child. Ours was a home rich enough in family harmony and love to immunize eight kids against the potential toxic effects of the environment beyond the door."
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