MOTHER'S DAY COLUMN: Shout 'Bravo!' for your mom
"You're not cheering loud enough," declared my daughter, Beth, as we headed home from her most recent volleyball game. I clapped, hollered "Good job," and "Good try" dozens of times during the game, yet I am not the boom box parent my daughter cr...
"You're not cheering loud enough," declared my daughter, Beth, as we headed home from her most recent volleyball game.
I clapped, hollered "Good job," and "Good try" dozens of times during the game, yet I am not the boom box parent my daughter craves. That's because I had a boom box parent, and it made me shy.
My mom has always been, well, boisterous. She yelled long and loud during basketball games, track meets, school plays, football games and more as my siblings and I wound our way through school. You could run, you could hide, but you could not escape that jolly voice.
Looking back today, I hear the pride in those cheers. More than two decades ago, they made me cringe.
Sometimes, I wish I was more like my mother. She was a stay-at-home mom with six children to raise. Juggling diapers with first dates, everything was celebrated with a picture. Today, the walls of her home are lined with albums, a chronicle of our lives.
With mom, every day had a potential celebration lurking around the corner. Running around the house as many times as you could became a friendly competition. Cleaning became a game. Baking was linked to tea parties and nearly anything could be turned into an arts and craft moment. Too bad mom was the only artistic one in the bunch.
But I have to be honest. More often, I wanted to be like my dad. He is calm in any crises, a jack of all trades and a notorious punster.
Dad gave our lives stability. Mom gave our lives sparkle.
In his Friday column, the Rev. Jason Benjestorf encouraged readers to list 31 things their mom does for them and the family that they want to thank her for.
Thinking back, I could list a few:
- Thanks for being not just upbeat but downright jolly. When I was determined to be pessimistic or blue, she was a cheer pusher.
- Thanks for being there when I was sick, especially when it included throwing up. I remember mom sitting beside me holding the bucket -- and occasionally getting splattered.
- Thanks for keeping in touch through cards, letters and calls when I started creating a home of my own.
- Thanks for teaching me to find the sparkle in everyday life.
- And yes, thanks for cheers.
Some days when I sit down after a long day of work, ferrying children, cooking, cleaning and listening to teen woes, I would dearly love to hear mom yelling "Bravo!" at the top of her lungs.
I wouldn't even cringe anymore.