Mother’s Day may very well be a holiday created by the retail giants in a hope to make more money, but in actuality moms do deserve their very own special day. If your mother is anything like mine, she always puts herself at the bottom of the totem pole, and shows unselfishness in making sure her family’s needs are fulfilled.
That is how she has been since I met her 23 years ago. My mother puts herself on the back-burner to the family pets, such as my recently adopted seven-month old mutt Dozer, and my sister’s four-year old sweet potato-shaped 116-pound Chesapeake retriever, Jake.
My mother stopped working outside the home when I was born. By her own choosing, her daily job has been, in part, to make sure there was a hot dinner sitting on the table when we all walked through the door.
All three of us are now grown. But my sister and her husband have made it a tradition to have dinner with my mother every night since my father passed away suddenly in 2006.
Switching gears, my mother has never understood my passion for sports, and why I am so obsessed. She, along with my father, just came to embrace what was. My family never was much for sports. Sure, my older brother Aaron, now 34, played football in high school, and my sister Valerie, now 31, played volleyball, but they never really considered themselves athletes.
Since the day I came into this world, my mother dressed me in sports clothing. She still to this day, doesn’t know why she decided to this.
There are old photos from the day I came home back on Sept. 25, 1989, of me in a green-and-gold Clinton football baby uniform someone made for me. From that day onward, it would not be uncommon to see me in my LA Gear light-up sneakers (don’t act like you don’t remember those.) My wardrobe, oftentimes picked out by my sister and mother, featured Celtics, Bruins, Patriots and Red Sox apparel. Most sports writers will tell you that their dad was their biggest influence; that isn’t the case for me.
Even though my mom never played sports or enjoyed them, she would still pretend she knew how to, for me. Every day before the school bus would come, my mother would be out in the driveway playing hockey or tossing the football with me.
When I came home, mom would be out there waiting for me with a smile, and sometimes a whiffle ball bat, and she would play with me in the front yard until supper time. The memory of her pumping the whiffle ball a couple times before throwing it to make sure I was ready, still vividly plays in my mind.
For a woman that never played sports, my mom packed a mean curveball. At least it was a mean one to this once pudgy, six-year old, future sports writer.
As the years passed, and school assignments became tougher, my mom was always there to help me out. Whether it was the awesome Fenway Park replica we made together out of astro turf, kitty litter and cardboard, or the numerous book reports she helped me write. I remember my mother sitting there for hours with me at the kitchen table and writing her own essay, while I struggled to get through the first paragraph. My mother would then allow me to read what she wrote, and would take a look at mine. She’d offer suggestions on how to be more descriptive. With that being said, I owe my ability to write in what some have regarded as a “captivating prose” to her.
My mom is still my biggest fan. While I did not see my mother among the 9,000-plus people packed into the basketball arena, while I walked across the UNC Charlotte commencement stage last May, I did see her outside the building waiting with a prideful, yet worried look on her face.
Prideful, because her baby boy just completed a four-year degree, and worried because well, that is what my mom does best. My mother is a quiet, yet strong-willed woman, and is a model for all mothers. Thanks to her, I was never late to a baseball game or to practice. She has always been my best promoter, even at my lowest moments, when post-grad life beat me down, and I would call her from Charlotte, a worried wreck.
My mom took care of her mother for many years after she went blind and allowed her to move in while I was at college. My grandmother has since passed away, and now the process of emptying and selling the house. Guess who is right there to help: My mom, Susan. I owe everything to her. She is the one who taught me to be polite and write with clarity and descriptiveness.
This Mother’s Day, skip the tacky greeting card. Give your mom a call, or better yet stop by and just say thanks. She will appreciate it much more than the piece of paper you scooped up at the drug store.
While my mom reads all of my articles, she always says she has no interest in the topics I write about.
Well, hopefully, she can follow this column, because it is all about how special she is to me.