This is a post for my children. Someday, I hope they are reading through the massive amounts of writings that I have done through the years and come across this and realize a few things…
This morning, I woke up, poured myself some coffee and watched my wife, your mom, as she was preparing your school lunch. She had already been up for about 45 minutes and had already gotten a shower as she was getting ready to go to work at 8am. It was 7:05. I asked her if I could help get your lunches ready and she told me I could make the sandwiches if I wanted to do something. As I was making your turkey & cheese sandwich with mayo, mustard and lettuce sandwich on hawaiian rolls (she was VERY specific about this), I noticed that she was also preparing you a side salad with carrots and a little cup of dressing that she was putting in little Tupperware cups, vegetable soup that she had made from scratch and was heating up on the stove, a small bowl of strawberry jello that she had made and a snack bar. I note the contents of what she packing because, quite honestly, if it had been ME packing your lunches, you would have gotten a peanut butter & jelly sandwich on regular white bread, some potato chips, maybe some grapes and a juice box. I MIGHT have POSSIBLY used wheat bread (if I’d seen it in the bread drawer first) but a SALAD with SOUP that I had made from SCRATCH? Not a chance.
Sounds like an average morning so…my point to this is?
Well…it’s not that your mother loves you more than I do. We both love you equally. However your mother goes ABOVE & BEYOND when it comes to taking care of you and she loves you so much that she will take the time to make sure you have the best she can give you. And this isn’t just in the case of just your lunch box either. Your Mom works harder at making sure that you have a great childhood than I have ever done in your short time here on this planet. Despite what you may think of her sometimes, there is no one who will do the things that she does to make your life as good as it can be. I’ve watched her. I’ve seen her struggle with you over your homework. I’ve seen her bust her butt to make sure she can get you, Christopher, from practice then to a game, pack you a bag of clean clothes so you can change, make sure someone can take you home, run to the store to get a gift so that she can take you, Ava, to your friend’s house for a birthday party, drive across town so that she can get something from someone for some charity engagement she has that night, drive back to get Christopher from the game, take you home to get a shower, take you to your friend’s house to play for a while then go get you, Ava, from the party, drop you off at another friend’s house then go home, change, and then go to a meeting, etc & so forth. Just WRITING this is exhausting to me, so DOING it sounds like a nightmare! But she does it and she doesn’t say a word about it to either of you.
Your mom makes sure you have what you need and gets you to where you need to go to get it. She makes sure that you understand all the things that are happening in your life. She is concerned about your future. She worries about you when you’re unhappy. She takes care of you when you’re sick. She has never once complained about doing ANY of these things. When I get frustrated when you whine about someone not passing you the ball during the game or dealing with having to make you something for breakfast that’s NOT cereal (seriously…what is WRONG with just eating cereal for breakfast?!?!), she will take the time to listen, she will make you eggs, she will understand your logic and make it all work.
My point is this…love your mother. Unequivocally. Don’t ask questions. Don’t talk back. Don’t take her for granted. Don’t think for a second that you can live without her. Because I’m here to tell you…you can’t.
I’m a a 44-year old man and I still have an undying love for my Mom. She did for me exactly what your mother is doing for you today and she has never asked me for anything more than a hug and a kiss before I leave her home. Your mother will be the same way. Live your life, enjoy it! But don’t EVER think you got it for free. Your life was not free. Your mother gave you your life. She gave birth to you, she cares for you, she loves you and when the shit hits the fan, she is gonna be there to help you get through it. Will dad be there? Of course I will. But trust me, MY take on things will always be peanut butter & jelly to her turkey & cheese sandwich with mayo, mustard and lettuce sandwich on hawaiian rolls. And it’s in THOSE details where you will find that she matters the most. I’m not belittling the things that I do for you. Trust me, I know my role. But it’s your Mom who is the angel on the top of your tree and so any time you think it will be okay to mouth off, be disrespectful, complain about the little things that don’t really matter, I want you to think of ALL of the things your mother does for you and I want you to reflect on those things.
Peanut butter and jelly will get you through, but turkey & cheese sandwich with mayo, mustard and lettuce sandwich on hawaiian rolls with homemade soup, salad and jello are the things that make your life special. Treat your mother with respect, love her as much as your heart will give and NEVER take her for granted. This matters very much to me because if you don’t understand that, then I have failed you as a father. Love your mother with all of your heart and your life will be greater than you know. Trust me when I tell you…mine has been.
Love you both,