Moms are mean. That’s right. I said it. Moms do the majority of the yelling, spanking and band aid ripping-off. As a small child, my dad never made me lay on my back with my pants down and legs up and stuck a greasy, icy thermometer in my rear end. Mom sure did. I remember it well. Too well. I remember meeting my dad’s eyes while in my compromised position. I remember his shrug and smirk and him leaving the room. Mom stayed in the room. Moms always stay in the room. This is frustrating. They don’t leave us alone.
In my current house, while God has proven his existence with the advent of digital thermometers, my wife, as mom, still strikes fear in the hearts of my perfect children. They KNOW they do not want to mess with mom. She will make life miserable. She will not tolerate any BS excuses or lies. She’s a tough crowd of one.
While I do some yelling and have certainly delivered a swat, I am a pretty kind dad. This is where I’m confused. No matter how sweet and generous I am, my kids still love their mom more. And she’s mean. I don’t get it. They enjoy her attention more. They accept her hugs. They listen to her words. They miss her when she’s not around. As a dad, this is confusing. As a son, this is not.
Moms, for all of their emotional incongruences, have our backs. We know who will starve for us or kill for us. Moms will. They will jump from a moving vehicle or run into a burning house for us. Through no spoken words, we understand this. This is reassuring. No one loves us more than our mom.
After the yelling, we get a hug. After the spanking, we get a Popsicle. They give us what they have. So, we can’t help forgiving them for being human. Lessons in love, compassion, kindness, charity, and all the good things about the world are delivered by our moms. They are the foundations upon which our lives are built.
So, while moms are mean, they are allowed to be, because they are so much more. They are who we call when we are sick. They are our “chicken soup for the soul.” In lives filled with stress and strife, fear and tragedy, thoughts of mom are a safe place. We can always travel back to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the crusts thoughtfully trimmed. We can enjoy or remember a gentle, yet strong embrace and know that true love exists. We are validated. Moms make us feel important. This may be the most vital of all of moms’ virtues: the power to make us feel important.
We could live many lifetimes and not be able to express in full measure their value and impact on our lives. They made us and they protected us and they showed us. They let us stumble and learn and picked us up when we fell. They dried our clothes and our tears. They loved us and will love us no matter how poorly we behave. They know what we need even when we don’t. They see our goodness when we don’t. They are the magical clairvoyants scribed in fantasy works. They understand our spirits and know our heartbeats. And even when they’re mean…they’re not that mean.
From our first breath to the last days, moms are there. They don’t leave the room. They may be the only “sure thing” in the world and they are with us forever. This is a comforting thought. For these reasons and many more, we love them and we honor them and we forgive them for their imperfections…and we even forgive them for the frozen thermometers…they are perfect to us.
[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here.