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Having a mother for most of my life, I think that I’ve garnered some insight into the dynamic between mother and son.
After my dad passed away, my mom took on two roles but she was best at simply being my mom.
Being the “baby” of the family with only an older sister to compare to, I think I had a pretty great relationship with my mom. Being the only boy also allowed me a fair amount of latitude because I could always play the “boys will be boys” card.
I got into my fair share of trouble as a kid, although nothing local law enforcement had to get involved with too often. I got punished from time to time, but I also got plenty of Icees and comic books when I was sick.
Here is some sage advice for all sons this Mothers Day:
• Don’t take your mom for granted. She works hard for you every day of the week, 365 days a year. Never let her forget that you appreciate all the little things, big things and medium-sized things she does for you.
• Don’t forgot that she wants the best for you. This doesn’t necessarily mean the best video games, clothes, home-cooked meals or unfettered freedom. It means she wants you to have the best she should and could give you.
• Come on ... just eat your vegetables. You aren’t getting out of it and the longer you resist the more painful it will be for both of you.
If it’s been a long day and she just doesn’t feel like fighting with you over finishing your dinner, go ahead and eat the vegetables. Acknowledging that she doesn’t deserve your static and resistance will go a long way in showing that you love her.
• When she tries to pour concrete for your Johnny Bench Batter Up, understand that this is probably the first time she has ever used Sak-Crete and if it doesn’t come out quite right, give her a break. In most instances, you will find that it truly is the thought that counts.
• Stop hanging out with all your hoodlum friends.
If you have friends your mom doesn’t approve of, there is probably a good reason. Moms don’t know everything but they have a pretty good clue on what is best for you.
Besides, you and your hoodlum friends have a lifetime to get into trouble. By waiting until you’re out of her house before getting into trouble, you’ll save your mom some heartache.
• Mom doesn’t stop worrying about you.
Even after you’re out of the house, your mom won’t stop worrying about you.
That is a rare commodity. There aren’t too many people in life who will love you unconditionally so appreciate that and understand it.
• Go see your older family members on Sunday afternoons without complaining.
This is one of your obligations and you should learn to be respectful and responsible. Even if your relatives have a weird smell and talk about people you don’t know and may have died 30 years before you were born.
• Heed her warnings and don’t play with matches; bring stray dogs or cats home; sit too close to the TV; go outside and get some fresh air; stop spending so much time (depending on your era) riding your bike after dark; listening to music on your headphones, driving around aimlessly, playing video games, or glued to the computer.
• Listen to her when she wants you to attend every night of vacation Bible school. It’s good for you.
• Don’t complain when she won’t get you $100 sneakers you want.
It’s probably not that she doesn’t want to get you what you want. It’s probably that she can’t afford them or feels that you are a kid and don’t need a $100 pair of shoes that you will outgrow in a few months.
Understand that there is a reason behind everytime she says no and you have to deal with it.
• Give her the respect she deserves.
No matter if she works at home, in an office, on the floor at the hospital or standing behind a counter, your mom works hard and doesn’t need or deserve a bunch of static from you.
• You can manipulate her under almost any circumstance. That doesn’t mean you should or that she doesn’t know what you are trying to do.
• Let her know that you understand that every day is a treasure and you get it.
But above and beyond, become someone that she is proud of.
You don’t have to become a billionaire, a successful athlete, movie star, a respected political figure, or a computer genius.
She just wants to know that you are happy and she prepared you well for days ahead and she can rest at night knowing she did a good job.
John Whitlock is the editor of the News-Herald.