Today is my mother’s birthday, and I’d like to use this post to recall just one of the fond memories that I have of her. Please understand that I could also speak of innumerable meals prepared, loads of laundry done, beds made, appointments kept, trips to church, Christmas and birthday presents, and whatever else it took to get me raised. But writing about all that would take the rest of my life and would turn into an encyclopedia set. So, instead, I’ll just run with this one memory.
Back in the day, at my middle school, shorts were still pretty taboo. There was no written rule against wearing them, but everybody usually wore pants no matter how hot it was. I realize that things are different now. My two sons wear shorts to school half the year. But this was the late 1970s and I’m merely telling you how it was.
Anyway, one spring day I decided, for whatever reason, to become a trendsetter and boldly wear a pair of shorts to school. Even as I write these words I can’t explain to you what possessed me to step out of the herd. Call it a temporary lapse of sanity. So off I went to school, wearing a nice pair of shorts, no doubt showing legs white enough to blind someone.
Well, once I arrived at school and began to mix and mingle, it didn’t take me long to realize that I had messed up. My fellow classmates weren’t brutal, but a few little remarks were certainly made. Mainly, however, my embarrassment came from within. Of course, that didn’t make it any less real. Needless to say, after a couple of hours I was ready to go find some pants.
This is where my mother comes into the story. Fortunately for me, she worked in the Clerk of Courts office right up the street from the school. So I went down to the school office, called her, and told her to come get me. I didn’t know how she would respond, but I was very grateful when she picked me up within minutes. She took me home, where I changed into a pair of my favorite jeans. Then she took me back to school and I had a much better afternoon than morning.
I don’t know why, but as I thought about today being her birthday that experience came to my mind. You know, it was one of those deals for which a parent never hears, “Thank you,” but the kid never forgets the love and kindness. So, as a birthday present to you mom, I say a long overdue, “Thank you,” not just for bailing me out that day but also for the countless other acts of loving kindness over my forty-four years on this earth. I know that this coming Sunday is Mother’s Day, and that’s the day normally set aside for talk such as this, but I thought you might enjoy this as a birthday present. I love you. And never doubt that I do remember all the good stuff.