Mother’s Day

I know it’s the day after, but I thought I’d tell you about Mother’s Day. I’m sure that for most of you, the day was filled with flowers and meals and hugs if you could get them.

Not so much for us.

First of all, we are still having virtual church. So no roses were handed out to the oldest living Mother among us. No quirky little Mother’s Day games for good clean fun. No roses pinned to lapels to honor our Moms.

There was a time when the preacher would have all the mothers stand. Right there in front of God, who sees all and knows all. He would then start asking questions, which most women would lie about if they thought they could get away with it just to save face.

He’d make a series of statements, actually. Commentary intended to take aim at what some might consider the true signs of motherhood. And if the response was “no”, then one by one Mothers, sweet little women with a corsage pinned to their dresses, would be shamed and forced to sit down.

“If you did not make your bed this morning, please sit down.”

“If you have not cleaned the toilet in the past week, please sit down.”

“If you served your family cereal for breakfast this morning, please sit down.”

For a cheap chuckle, Mothers all across the auditorium would wince as their disgrace was exposed before all watching eyes. The last woman standing was either a saint or had no fear of lying in church. It was always hard to tell which.

So, none of that this year.

There was a time when Mothers were honored with a meal out at a nice restaurant. No food to prepare. No kitchen to slave over. No dishes to wash. Just a two hour wait in a hot paved parking lot for a meal that cost as much as my car payment. But the royal treatment was worth every minute and every dime.

But even that wasn’t possible this year.

There was a time when every kin imaginable came over to the house to pay tribute to Mama. She would try to serve and wait on folks, but the daughters would stand at the door to the kitchen and refuse to let her pass. Saintly mothers need to be doing for others in order to maintain sainthood. But this was her day.

“Now, Mama. You keep your seat. I’ll take care of cutting the cake.”

Mama hollers into the kitchen. “Get that good knife outta the drawer next to the stove. The one that has the loose handle. I use that one for cutting cake.”

“I got this, Mama.”

Yet again, the quarantine has debunked the family gathering.

Mothers everywhere tried to make the best of this mess we’re in. There were video calls. Bouquets of flowers left on porch steps. Grandchildren on the phone waving to Nana and saying, “I wuv you.” We all made the best of the circumstances handed to us.

The mother of my children and I did manage to go out and get a bite to eat. After virtual church we had a date at the Home Depot to pick up some paint, and after that we swung by Captain D’s. So, her Mother’s Day meal was a 4 piece fish dinner with fries and hush puppies that we got at the drive thru. We shared in the car on the way home. She had tartar sauce. The perfect dipping sauce according to her. We both had sweet tea that was so warm it melted all the ice before we got halfway home.

We were in a big hurry because we did have two of the kids coming over to visit, bringing one grandchild in tow. This held in it the making of a good Mother’s Day after all.

The purpose of the visit was, of course, to see Mama. But the underlying purpose was to try out the new hand gun. And this is where Jeff Foxworthy would say:

If you’ve ever celebrated Mother’s Day baking cookies in the kitchen and shooting up clips of semi-automatic weapons in the back yard . . . you might be a redneck. I’m not sure what to say but, “If the shoe fits.” Mama even shot one round. And the cookies were delicious.

It’s been a long time since Beth or I have had our mothers around. Both of our girls are beautiful mothers in their own right. And of all the days that this quarantine could possibly squash, this was not one of them.

Everyone I know held this day in the esteem it deserves. Our Mothers are the ones who have given most of us a fighting chance in this world. They fought some of our battles for us. They fought to knock some of the worst in us out of us. They held us when we were sick. They put up with our adolescent mouths and ways with a patience that only a mother could manage. They probably convinced our fathers not to kill us on more than a few occasions.

In my book, God made a mother because He knew just how strong she could be and that most of us would not make it without her. She will work tirelessly to take care of the needs of her family. She will sacrifice every last dream and every last penny of her own to see that her kids have what they need. She will hold on her children when the world is ready to toss them aside. She will comfort them long after they have left home and life wears them down. As long as she lives, she will never stop being a mother.

If yours was anything like mine, it was a good day. I saw the smiles to prove it. I wish my Mama could have been a part of it. She would not have taken in the target practice. But she would have enjoyed the cookies. Whatever you did yesterday, it’s being with family and giving honor to your Mama that counts.

Thank You, Lord, for making Mothers.