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No 'mama' is perfect, but each one is a hero

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By Molly Haines

There’s a scar on my shin that tells a story about me that most people don’t know.
It’s the story of how one little girl had only one wish for her adult life -- and that was to be just like her hero.
The scar came about after a trip to my mama’s closet, where I took out a pair of her old high heels. I slipped them on my tiny feet and walked carefully through the house, trying my hardest to be as graceful as mama when she walked through the church doors on Sunday mornings.
I could hear the lawn mower running as I neared the front door and knew any moment she would be within eyesight of the front porch.
As the lawn mower rounded the corner of the house, I threw all caution to the wind and took off down the steps.
Or should I say tumbled?
When my legs hit the concrete of the sidewalk, my wailing was likely to have been heard clear up to the county line.
As she dried the tears from my eyes and picked me up to wash the blood from my leg, her words only further broke my heart.
It started with the usual, “I’ve told you and told you...” and ended with mama tossing the old high heels in the trash.
What she probably didn’t know was that I only wanted to be as pretty as I thought she was. I only wanted her to be as proud of me as I was of her.
Because in my 6- or 7-year-old mind, all I wanted to be when I grew up was “just like mama.”
***
Time seemed to fly by after that day. I blinked once or twice and where a little girl once clung to her mama’s neck, a grown woman stood.
I finally learned to walk in high heels, though never as gracefully as mama. And I also learned that there could never be another mama.
***
As Mother’s Day approaches, I am reminded of all the sacrifices my Mama made for me. Like the time she sold her car to put braces on my teeth so that I would never be ashamed to smile at anyone.
Or all the times there was only one piece of cake left and she decided she was “too full” or “didn’t need it anyway.”
She could turn any holiday or birthday into a grand event with her exceptional cooking skills and laughter.
She could even make a dull evening of setting tobacco comparable to the Grand Ole Opry with her alto voice and memory of the lyrics to all my favorite country songs.
But most of all, I am reminded of an unconditional love.
It was my mama’s love that carried me through broken hearts, bubble gum in my hair and the death of my first pet.
It was her love that taught me how to be kind to others, to be patient, understanding and caring.
No matter what life throws at her, mama seems to stand firmly rooted in her faith and continues to put her family first. Her belief that “the good Lord doesn’t put any more on us than we can stand” has been the best advice I could have ever been given.
No, mama isn’t perfect, but there’ll never be another one like her.
But on occasion, when someone says that I talk, look or act just like mama -- I will always take it as the greatest compliment ever afforded to me.
***
To all the “mamas” everywhere, Happy Mother’s Day. And remember that every child needs a hero.
No mama is perfect, but in your children’s eyes, you’re the best one in the world. 

- Molly Haines is the editor of the Owenton News-Herald.