Happy Mother’s Day to one and all. I wish each of you madres a day full of ham omelets and showers of freshly squeezed orange juice. Enjoy the cornucopia of beauty products and jewelry that have been bestowed upon you. I also extend to each of you a heartfelt thanks because without you the world would be filled with idiots—we’d all be bumping into walls and sticking our fingers in electric sockets.
Moms, you make the world classy.
As an expectant father, I need to think about my place on the parenting ladder. Yes, I will be good at certain defined things. I will be in charge of assembling various items and handing down financial advice. If the kid plays golf it’ll be up to me give them fundamentally weak swing lessons. Down the line I’ll be counted on for the quintessential father’s job, i.e., stinking up the bathroom. Amongst all this, I will attend to emotional and physical scrapes. I will say, It’s okay and You’re alright and make up silly alter egos to entertain this child. But I will never be able to replicate mom powers.
And that’s okay. Mom powers belong with moms.
I need to be prepared, is all I’m saying. As I’ve already experienced with our momma’s boy of a cat, David Letterman, I could be relegated to the role of 1A. Scottie Pippen. Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Jackie rolled into one.
Mom, as we all know, is the original Jedi. She is the mind-reading master of the Mom Force. It seems effortless and she’s always on.
Mom, for instance, knows your thoughts and your feelings. She knows you’re disappointed about not being elected 3rd grade treasurer before the votes are even tallied. Mom is able to bend your view of reality—the vaunted Jedi Mind Trick. She somehow convinces you that the girl you want to ask to prom really isn’t out of your league (even though she is). Better yet, she convinces you that you convinced yourself (even though you clearly didn’t). This is cool.
My own experience with the Mom Jedi Mind Trick was during junior year of high school. I had this pair of shorts. They were… different. Plaid with shades of pink, yellow, and green, which made coordination tough. Truthfully, they belonged on a Ft. Lauderdale retiree. But I found them undeniably cool. I wanted to march into Strasburg High School with those shorts blazing. I wanted to start a fashion revolution. But revolutionaries are first viewed as madmen and I already felt the insults popping in my head.
I don’t recall how my fashion concern arose. Truthfully, Mom probably already knew. And there in our kitchen, while I sat at the breakfast table wearing my shorts she said the words that made me the fashion plate I am today, It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, as long as you like them.
I wore them. There were insults. It was awesome.
Surely my mom knew those shorts were ugly, but the Mother Jedi doesn’t always tell you the truth. She tells you what you need to hear in order that you might be a better version of yourself.
Mom’s Jedi powers are in her voice—a mixture of softness, gentle encouragement, a firm dedicated intonation, and that lingering tinge of the amazement she felt when she first met you. A mom’s voice is anesthesia for the nerves. She says that everything will be okay and you believe it but you don’t know why. In this, she gives you hope.
Jedi Mom detects lies. Actually, she just knows the truth. And though she may ask a question—Did you shoot out those windows with your BB gun?—she is not searching for the answer. She already knows it. She is merely gauging your level of stupidity at that exact moment and taking an inventory to figure out how much work is still ahead before she can release you into the wild as a responsible member of society. The options: (1) If you (the kid) fess up immediately, then she knows there’s hope around the corner. (2) A few lies then a confession: This means you thought for a moment that you could outsmart her. She is offended by this, but understands you can be converted. (3) You lie the whole way through even though you know that she knows that you know that she knows you’re lying… She is amazed that her child could be such a blockhead. There is still work to do, so she hunkers down. She punishes accordingly.
My favorite part about the Jedi Mom is that she just happens. No Yoda seminars required. It’s simply a light switch. It’s an association that’s free of biology and independent of rational thought. The Jedi Mom—whether she’s a mom, aunt, teacher, mentor, grandmother, friend, foster mom—makes a connection for whatever reason and that’s that. The rest just happens. And we’re all better for it.
So, I sincerely thank all the women in my life who have kept me from being a moron. I love you all.
Mom, I’ve been with you for a long time and watched you and Dad raise four pretty awesome people. I’ve also watched you love foster kids as if they were your own without a hint of hesitation (sometimes several at a time, sometimes with a broken arm). I know that you fret about many things, but you should never fret about your ability as a mother. We are awesome because you are awesome. There’s still a little moron in us, but just enough to keep things interesting.
… That reminds me, Mom, since I couldn’t get a card to you on time… I got you an Amazon gift card for $100. The gift card code is E345-DY1W-GU71-9IU6. If for some reason it doesn’t work, just give them my credit card number: 3467 5918 3401 4981. Exp. Date 4/14. Lovsies.
Finally, a very special 1st Mother’s Day to ALO. I am worried about many, many things in regard to that little critter you’ve got in your stomach. I have no idea how it’s all going to go. But I’ve been studying Jedis my whole life and I can say for sure that you are going to be one of the best. And if I can do this parenting thing with a real Jedi, there’s a lot less to worry about.
May the Force be with you.