Here is Sunday’s Designated Hitter column for Mother’s Day. This goes out to all of the great moms out there, but the true inspiration of it was my lovely wife, Becky, who is the best mom I know.
Here’s the column:
She wakes up, not long after the day does, but well before either her husband or daughter wants to.
It doesn’t matter that she had to put in all those hours at work that week, where 12-hour shifts are never 12-hour shifts. More like 13, 14.
And then she comes home to her other full-time job, making sure the homework gets done, the bath gets run and the bills get paid. The grocery list. The chores. Laundry. Vacuuming. Dishes.
And then on a crisp Saturday morning, a day in which so many get to choose to sleep in or rest or allow their day to be decided by the whims of the weekend, she’s back at it.
The soccer games her little girl plays in are adorable. There’s no denying that. The pink cleats and bobbing ponytail will get you every time.
But Mom made all that happen. While she sits and roots her child on from the sidelines, so much more went into that morning than meets the eye.
The shrieking alarm that she adheres to. The upstairs climb to try to shake the young one from the comforts Mom knew all too well only minutes before. The breakfast. Getting the uniform. The camera. The water bottle. The folding chair. Everything in place, in order, done in that merticulous Mom way, a system that boggles every husband’s mind for its masterful precision.
And should there be a bump in the road along the way, whether it’s the grumpiness the little one can’t shake after being roused from bed, or, worse, a skinned knee after stumbling on the shrunken recreation soccer field, only Mom seems to suffice. She is there in a flash, always, quick to turn the mood around or to stop the bleeding, providing the perfect blend of compromise and comfort to get the day moving ahead in the best possible direction.
She does all this, every week — and not just for every game and for every practice — but for every day, for her family. For some reason, the phrase “soccer mom” brings with it a negative connotation, as if the image of a woman in complete control of any family situation — or any moment in any sense — is a bad thing.
They are everywhere, too. Keeping things in order, in check, in unison. And instead of derided, they should be celebrated.
Drive down the road, and should you see a soccer ball decal on the back of a car, or a baseball decal, a football, a cheerleading one or a dance studio one — anything, really — chances are there’s a mother leading the charge.
They never complain, choosing instead to find their joy in the joy of their kids’ exploits. And we never thank them enough for everything they do, not just in the home, or the workplace or in taking care of the kids. And honestly, no amount of thanks could ever equal all they put in for their families.
Anybody can be a mother, it’s been said. But it takes a truly special person to be a Mom.
And it’s always easy to see the difference.
Just take a look — she’s there.
She’s always there.