It’s Mother’s Day again. Once again, I had no idea what to get my mom. When her birthday rolls around in a month, I won’t know what to get her then, either. When Christmas rolls around, well, you get the picture.
I guess I am a horrible son. That isn’t her fault. But it is her fault I never have any idea what to get her.
She has lived her life not needing or wanting anything. She takes care of everyone else.
Trying to keep my two boys’ schedules straight and not go crazy wears me out. Mom had three children with 11 years between my sister and me and my brother tucked right in the middle of that age gap. She was stretched pretty thin with one in high school and one in kindergarten. My sister was in state and national beauty pageants and I was playing tee ball while my brother was playing 12 and under baseball.
She always got us all where we needed to be when we needed to be there. Usually, at least one of our friends had to be picked up on the way.
I know she agrees with Erma Bombeck who said, “Who in their infinite wisdom decreed that Little League uniforms be white? Certainly not a mother.”
Before the days of Oxy Clean and Shout stain removers, mom had a bucket full of baseball or football pants making sure all of the grass, dirt and blood stains came out before the next game. Getting my sister ready for her competitions was less dirty but no less time consuming.
Mom had to be at work all day, get everyone fed and make sure we all made it where we had to be. Sometimes, that meant cooking dinner in shifts. It meant staying up late and getting up early to clean.
It usually meant getting out of bed before the sun rose and not stopping until she went back to bed long after the sun set.
None of it was to make herself happy and have a good time. It was all to take care of her family.
But mom never complained. I don’t guess she had time to.
I have never seen my mom throw a ball. But she has seen more balls thrown than most mothers. She knew she was going to be on the sideline for every sport, every season in at least two different leagues. Somehow, she made all those crazy schedules work.
And it was a good thing she was on those sidelines because that meant her purse was there too. That purse had everything you ever needed. It was like a magician’s hat.
Page 2 of 2 - No matter how much stuff she pulled out of it, it was always full.
She always had exactly what you needed in there, whether it was bandaids, snacks, a sewing kit, you name it.
It was funny to me when my son, Blake, learned about Grandma Rosie’s magic purse. He had a kid’s meal toy that he loved. One day, my parents were riding in the car with us on the way to my brother’s house and Blake realized his toy was ripped.
In the back seat of the car, mom pulled out a sewing kit, stitched up the toy and saved the day.
I never remember my mother ever even giving me direction on what to do or not to do. She never seemed to care what we did.
Mom never pushed us in any direction except up. She may not have cared what we did, but she always made sure that we did everything we did as well as we could.
All she ever needed was more hours in the day. She never wanted anything other than a happy husband and successful, happy kids.
That’s why I never know what to get her for Mother’s Day.
It’s not like I could ever repay all she did for me. But I wish I did a better job of making payments.
Kent Bush is the publisher of the Augusta Gazette, the El Dorado Times, and the Andover American newspapers. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org