Sunday, May 11, 2014

Thanks Mom!

Happy Mother's Day!  

To all of you mothers out there, I say, "Thanks!" You've got one of the toughest jobs on the planet, almost never get a day off, and are on call every night. Those of us who are dads know very well that if we didn't have you taking care of us, along with the kids, the human race would have perished centuries ago.

I'd like to tell you about two of my favorite moms.

My Mom

First, my mom will never see this. She and my father are both pretty serious Luddites and don't have internet. They've gotten through 80 plus years without it, so no use trying it out now.  I may print this off and mail it to her so she can see what I write about.

My mom was a pretty average mom from back in those days. I was born in 1957 and my brothers were both born in the early 1960s. Mothers back then stayed at home, most of the time. I only recall one or two mothers in my neighborhood that worked outside the home and that wasn't until the late 60s. 

Our mom stayed at home until I was about 15 or so at which time, she took up teaching tennis for the country recreation and parks department. Over the years, she became one of the best instructors of new players, I ever saw. To this day, I'm sure if I went to her and said, "Let's go hit some balls." she'd have me hitting my backhand as good as I ever did in a few minutes.

I learned nearly all sports from my mom. She was a jock of some repute back in her hometown of Johnstown PA, playing basketball, softball, and touch football with the boys in the neighborhood. The little finger on one of her hands is permanently bent from a football injury. She's the one who taught me how to throw and kick a football, shoot a jumper and dribble, catch throw and hit a baseball. I was always amazed at her ability to do all of that; none of the other moms did!

The other big thing I learned from mom was a love of music. One of my earliest memories is of sitting in her lap, listening and singing along to a record of hymns from Tennessee Ernie Ford. To this day, when I hear his voice on a record from an oldies station, I always think back to that time. As a result of those sing alongs, I really struggle to sit quietly and just listen to music. I always want to join in

Thanks Mom! You taught me a lot and I hope I've grown up to be the man you wished for.

My Bride

I also want to tell you about my bride who, in my not so humble opinion, is the best mom I've ever seen.

She seems to strike the perfect balance with all of the kids in our blended family. She isn't over-bearing although she is very clear about her feelings on important topics. She will forgive everything and yet has no problem holding her kids accountable for their actions. She wished her children to have perfectly normal lives and took time every year to explain that she expected far greater things from them in terms of leadership and behavior. (I saw eyes roll more than once but I know deep down, they believed and agreed with everything she was saying.) 

She is also a terrific step-mom which is one of the toughest jobs there is. Her step kids know how much she loves them, and how much she expects of them, too.

My bride's incredible parenting skills have made me a far better parent than I ever was before. Thanks, baby! Once again, you've made me a better man.


Three weeks from today, June 1, I'm riding in the annual Tour de Cure fundraiser for Diabetes. My goal is to raise $2000 for that cause and I need your help.  So far, I'm just short of $1500. If you could make a donation, I'd sure appreciate it! As little as $5 can be donated by clicking on the link below.  Much obliged!