Column: An ode to mothers
Mothers are teachers. Mothers are disciplinarians. Mothers are cleaning ladies, and some mothers are gardeners and mowers of lawns. Mothers drive trucks, and own chain saws, both of which they can put to good use. And most mothers understand that baking cookies is more important than washing windows.
Mothers are nurses and doctors and counselors and chauffeurs. They’re developers of personalities, vocabularies, and attitudes. They’re easy to blame, and easy to love. Mothers teach little boys how to hit what they’re aiming at. And mothers are a child’s first link to God, a first impression of love.
And more, much more.
God was in the act of creating mothers. He had already worked a lot of overtime on this. An angel said to him: “Lord, You sure are spending a lot of time on this one.” They were both looking at how far along he was on this new mother model.
The Lord turned and said: “Have you seen the specs on this model? She’s supposed to be completely washable. She has to have 180 moving parts, none of which is replaceable, so she has to be tough. She has to have a lap that disappears when she stands up. She has to function on coffee and left-over hot dish, and she’ll have to swell up like a ballon when she’s pregnant, and have to pee every 10 minutes, because there won’t be any room in there for the bladder.”
“Plus,” the Lord said, “After nine months of that, I have to have her want to do it again.”
“Maybe,” said the angel, “you should have the man do that nine-month thing.”
“No,” said the Lord, “he’d kick up a terrible fuss about it messing up his fishing and hunting.”
The angel nodded.
“I think she’ll have to have six pairs of hands,” said the Lord.
“That’s impossible,” said the angel. “Well,” said the Lord, “it’s not the six pairs of hands that’s the problem, it’s the six pairs of eyes. She’s supposed to have one pair that sees through closed doors so that whenever she says, ‘what are you kids doing in there?’ she’ll already know what they’re doing in there.”
“She has to have another pair in the back of her head to see the things she’s not supposed to see but must. And then one pair right up in front that can look at a child that just goofed and communicate love and understanding and humor without saying a word.”
“I’m close to creating someone much like myself,” The Lord said. “She can already heal herself when she gets sick, feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger, and persuade a nine-year-old to take a shower.”
Then the angel looked at the motherhood model more closely and said: “She’s too soft.”
“Oh, but she’s tough,” said the Lord. “You’d be surprised at how much this mother can do.”
“Can she think?” asked the Angel. “Not only can she think,” said the Lord, “she can reason and persuade.” Then the Lord added: “But just watch out when she makes up her mind about something.”
The Lord was puzzled because she was full, but he still had to insert a shopping gene.
Then the angel reached out and touched the mother model’s cheek: “This one has a leak,” he said. “Maybe she’s too full.”
The Lord replied: “That’s not a leak, I think it’s a tear.”
“What’s a tear for?” asked the Angel. “Well,” God said, “maybe it’s handy for a lot of things, like for sadness, and joy, and pride.”
“You’re a genius, God,” said the Angel, “that tear is a great invention.”
“Oh,” He replied, “I didn’t put that in there, she did that herself. I don’t quite have this tear thing figured out.”
Our first faith is in our mother. Faith takes practice. Mothers give us that. It’s only a small leap to faith in God, isn’t it? Perhaps the conclusion here is that faith in God will make tears obsolete.
It’s certainly something to think about.