To be honest, I'm not a big fan of special "Days." Seems to me that if you can't make someone you care about feel special more than one day out of the year, you aren't gonna have much luck with a card, flowers, and lunch out. Now, I freely admit that you will find my name at the very bottom of any list of people who do a good job of making loved ones feel special all year 'round. But, hey, I believe in the political science maxim that competence is not a commentary prerequisite.
For those of you who rank just above me at the bottom of the list of considerate sons, this is your Mother's Day wake up call. For those of you who have caused and graced our collective existence with your motherhood, this is a heartfelt "Thank you" from a calloused curmudgeon who knows enough to give credit where credit is due. As I pause this weekend to honor the ladies whose proper presence in our lives provide blessed balance and temper to what otherwise would be masculine mayhem, there are four to whom I am especially indebted and who deserve much more than the meager recognition I will accord them below.
My mother, born in rural Mississippi in the Great Depression, possesses an awe inspiring combination of grace, grit, good manners, and sense of style that quite frankly has always been an intimidatingly high standard by which to measure myself. So, I've taken the easy way out and quit trying. She is matchless. To her I owe what sense of propriety I possess in my often impolitic manner--I shudder to think what low level my behavior would attain were it not for the appropriate-living lessons she gave me. There was never any doubt that she loved my brother and me deeply and unconditionally--had she not, she would have early-on thrown up her hands in disgust and despair at the gross pair of boys behind whom she picked up and for whom she prayed. She once told me, when I was a young teenager, that she prayed for me every morning after I had gone off to school. Brings tears to my eyes, even today, remembering how much that simple statement meant to me. Dad was a great dad, but Mom made the men that my brother and I became.
My best friend in this world raised my children almost single-handed while I was off making the world safe for democracy. She did a spectacular job. She doesn't think she did, but our children now live their lives in ways for which my pride cannot be contained. The credit is all Miss Brenda's.
Miss Brenda's mother is one of my favorite people. Her wisdom and discernment is amazing. Case in point: she saw enough potential in her future son-in-law to adopt me as a son when other mothers were warning their daughters to steer clear of me. She raised a great daughter, without whom I would be lost--that's a life-changing accomplishment.
The newest mother on my list of favorites is she who holds the vaunted and hallowed position as the mother of my grandsons. She is a great mate--I couldn't think of one better--to Number 1 son, and she has given me two of the most special boys on the planet over whom I am completely and unashamedly crazed.
Ladies, I thank you.