I have spent my entire life being around wonderful moms. While the list is too long to stuff into this space, it of course includes my own mother, the mother of my children, the mothers of my mom and dad, and the wonderful mothers of my grandchildren. I have known scores and scores of moms and have observed as they lived day after day balancing multiple needs of their children and husband, nutrition and nurture, faith and football, spirituality and sports, and much of the time making it look easy. While I must say in fairness that none of them were perfect, I must also be fair in telling you that most of their imperfections came from being thrown off balance by their kids’ behavior.
I remember as a small child hearing my mother tell my two older brothers — not me, but them — that they were going to drive her to Whitfield. I knew they couldn’t drive and I didn’t know where Whitfield was, but I knew she wasn’t pleased with them (and on a rare occasion, with me). It’s tough being a mom, so on this Mother’s Day week I just want to commend the Triple-A Moms in my life. Why do I call them “Triple-A?”
The first “A” to which I would point is their attitude. Now that I have lived decades beyond my grandmothers, my mother, and mother-in-law, all of the insignificant things have been filtered out and the big things rise to the surface. The most memorable thing in every case was their attitude. It seems to me that as all of life’s experiences get filtered through time, one of the most outstanding, incredible aspects that will not ever leave us is our attitude. You can be a gifted, brilliant, outstanding anything and have a bad attitude and it will more than likely override everything you ever thought, did, or attempted. That is what I remember about so many of these wonderful mothers that left a mark on my life. I think back and try to remember: Did they not ever feel bad? Were they not struggling with decisions in life and about the future? I suppose they had no real burdens or serious concerns in life once they become mothers or advanced mothers, since there are no more tests or having to get up every day for school. No more big decisions like which boy do you like, or do you want to date someone? All the major burdens and issues of life, I suppose, are over because they always seem to have a good attitude.
The second “A” of these Triple-A folks is actions. For all of my grandparents’ and parents’ days and most of my growing-up years, there was no television in our home. Even when we got a television, it was only on the air a few hours a day and even then I didn’t always get to watch it. There was no computer, no iPad, no cell phone, no social media connectivity, but there was interaction with each other that sometimes involved games but often time just involved us being together. I can remember sitting on the porch on a hot summer day with my granddaddy and my grandmother. We’d talk a little, listen a little, and as the evening wore on everybody would chase a lightning bug, but that was about it. Yet there was something about the things they did, even if they were only small, that seemed to be meaningful. My grandmother made the best biscuits in the world and when she was gone, she passed on that ability to my mom who thankfully did not pass it on to my wife. If my wife were to get up every morning now and make a bunch of biscuits with all the other stuff for breakfast, I would weigh 450 pounds. Their actions were small things, not gifts and other things they bought us but a hug laced with joy just to be with us. While they cannot still hold on to me physically, I hold on to those thoughtful, sweet actions.
The final “A” is available. The moms I’ve known would find ways
to squeeze in some time to be available for whatever great need might be in their child’s life. Everybody I know is busy. It really does not matter what age or stage in life that they might be — they’re busy. They may be young and footloose and fancy free, but they’re busy getting from one thing to another or arranging to pay for whatever they want to do or accomplishing a task that’s around them. They’ve just got a lot on their plate. They may be in mid-life and have one or ten kids and they’re busy. There are school and extracurricular activities, as well as getting a family fed, washed up, cleaned up, and ready to go for another day. They are busy. They may be in the senior days of life, maybe even in the latter stages of life, and they’re busy. Busy trying to take care of all the things that need to be taken care of with doctors and home and food and friends and all of the church activities that somebody’s trying to get you lined up to attend. There’s always more on your plate than you’re able to handle, except with the most effective people that you know who seem to find the time to take care of the greatest needs in their lives and for Triple-A moms, the kids are a priority.
No wonder Solomon, the wise man of the Old Testament, put in Proverbs the description of that great mom and her children who rise up and call her blessed (31:28). To all of you Triple-A moms out there, my hat is off to you and my praise is directed at you as you love your kids and lead them in the ways of the Lord.
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.