Today is a special day for a special lady in my life. It is my mother’s 29th+ birthday and I am glad the calendar conspired to let me write this today. There is a special bond between mothers and sons. There is a special bond between fathers and sons also, but it is uniquely different and that is a good thing. While fathers teach sons how to be a man, I believe that mothers teach sons how to be a human. Granted that’s a little tongue-in-cheek, but I do think that mothers teach sons how to relate to others more than fathers do, and that is a good thing.
My mom taught me many things over the course of my life. She taught me how to evaluate intangibles when dealing with people, how to see things from their point of view and how to evaluate that in light of your own understanding and perspective. She taught me that my relationship with God establishes the foundation of both my life and my relationships. She taught me that family is the core unit of our lives and as it grows, our life becomes even more rich. She taught me that loyalty and steadfastness to friends and family is not just a desired quality, but fundamental to being a good man.
Growing up we didn’t have lots of money, but we were rich. We had a father who loved our mother, but, equally, we had a mother who loved our father, and they both loved us. That commitment to each other and to our family carried us through difficult times and served as the perfect example to my brothers and me. We weren’t just taught, we saw in the everyday lives of our parents the example they were seeking us to emulate. Sure, rationally I know things weren’t and probably aren’t perfect, but, in comparison with the dysfunction we see so blatantly around us today, we had, and still have, the storybook family life. We might not have been the Cleavers, but we sure weren’t the Bundys, even if, as kids, we didn’t fully appreciate what we had.
Today, my mother is (and I apologize if this sounds sexist), the matriarch of a family that extends three generations, enjoys not one or two, but five individual families who share the same values and desires as she and my father, and has a foundation built on a solid faith in God, Family and Country, in that order. Knowing my own path, I am sure she never expected this future when she and dad started dating, and I am absolutely positive that the mother (and father) I know and love probably never thought they would be the people they are today, but I am forever grateful that they are. The sacrifices of their past have enabled our present and our kids’ and grandkids’ futures.
Mom, thank you for the example you have been. Thank you for helping me become the man I am today and the man I will be tomorrow. Thank you for being my counselor, my cheerleader, and the inspiration for the husband I have and am becoming. Thank you for being my mom. I love you and hope you have had a wonderful birthday.