Let’s start with the little baby, who is not in our presence today, nor is he a little baby any more. I know this because a few months ago, he told me he wanted to go to California. I said, oh yeah, anything else? He said that he would like to go in a helicopter. Sure, anything else? He was thinking about Texas and Mexico too. (He must be reading the blog.) Then two weeks ago, I caught him packing for his grandparents’ farm in Mississippi. He was ready to vacation. For three weeks apparently. And so today on this Mother’s Day, at the ripe old age of 3, he is 625 miles away from his mother.
Next is Mom # 1, the above big guy’s mom and my wife, Christy. First off, the above idea was hers, and that is ridiculously selfless.
Second off, a quick story. I got shot this week. Yes, you read that correctly. Not by a real gun it turns out, but still. Google the paintball wars going on in the streets of America right now. Walking home from dinner Wednesday night, a car passed in the other direction and unloaded six or seven times, hitting me twice. I was stunned and visibly shaken, unsure if I had been shot for real or what was going on. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THE BEHAVIOR THAT FOLLOWED, but it is the point of the story. As I stood there, I turned around and saw Christy chasing after these clowns. I don’t know what she was going to do if she caught them, but those boys better be glad they got away! Passion. Intensity.
Mom #2 is Suz, my little sister. She understands and tolerates my uniqueness like no other. She is 5 years younger than me, and I have proudly seen her raise her two little girls, for which I have no frame of reference and never will. I cannot personally imagine having two in such a short period of time in my twenties. Respect.
Mom # 3 is my mom, who I am so happy to see today. She is both my biggest doubter and biggest supporter, which we laugh about all the time. When I got a dog some 12 years ago, the first thing she said to me was “What do you know about raising a dog?” Turns out, you learn. When I decided to run a marathon last year, the first thing she said to me was “What do you know about running a marathon?” Turns out, you learn. She’s quick to pop that question to me, but even quicker to throw her unwavering support behind any of my unusual activities I have decided to take on. She knows I’ve got this, and if I mess up, I’ll figure it out. What she may not know is that a good portion of the swagger I have comes from her quiet unwavering support. I’ve written this before, but never for Mother’s Day. She is genuinely the nicest person I have ever met, but is secretly super competitive. She is having a 2nd knee replacement surgery this week, and I love her attitude about it. She’s just ready to get on with it. Do what needs to be done. Sort it, so she can get back to living life. I love that attitude because of what it signifies. Sometimes life gets you down. Sometimes you need a new knee. Process it. Focus on it. Sort it out. And get back after it…stronger.
I’ll never have any clue what it is like to be a mom, but from everything I have learned, it must be the hardest yet most rewarding job in the world. Today, I sit with one whose only child is halfway across the country. One who has got her hands full with two little ones. And one who needs a new knee. And that just perfectly sums up life I think.
Make sure you drop a kind word to your mother today, or for that matter, any mother. Selflessness. Passion. Intensity. Respect. Strength.
Have a great week.-Benj
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