From One Writing Mom to Another

I grew up reading her columns in the Baltimore Sun.

Her words moved me and made me laugh long before I was a mother myself, long before I understood that her humor - and her poignancy - weren't exaggerated; all of it, every bit, was and is true.

Life as mom is full of snapshot moments; some are hilarious - you should see my 4 year old dance, some are trying - no means no means no means NO, and some (more than I care to count) that are downright terrifying.

Tomorrow I'll wake up to find Mother's Day is here but you and I (and, I imagine, she did, too) know the truth -

Every day is Mother's Day.

Every day that I am here and they are here on God's green earth is Mother's Day. Every day that they live and breathe and hug me is Mother's Day. Every day that shines down on them learning and doing and giving back is Mother's Day.

And every day that ends with me peering through a crack in their doors to watch them sleeping safely in their beds, their faces smooth and peaceful, is Mother's Day.

So I'm not going to wish you a Happy Mother's Day today. Instead I'm going to share with you words from a writing mom who inspired me and who, ten years past her death, still inspires me to write what is real, what is true, what is good.

When God Created Mothers

When the good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of "overtime" when the angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

And the Lord said, "Have you read the specs on this order? --

She has to be completely washable, but not plastic; Have 180 moveable parts . . . all replaceable; Run on black coffee and leftovers; Have a lap that disappears when she stands up; A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair; And six pairs of hands...

The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands . . . no way."

"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord. "It's the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have."

"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.

The Lord nodded.

"One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, 'What are you kids doing in there?' when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say, 'I understand and I love you' without so much as uttering a word."

"Lord," said the angel, touching His sleeve gently, "Come to bed. Tomorrow . . ."

"I can't," said the Lord, "I'm so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick . . . can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger . . . and can get a nine year-old to stand under a shower."

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," she sighed.

"But tough!" said The Lord excitedly. "You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure."

The angel asked, "Can it think?"

"Not only think, but it can reason and compromise," said The Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told You You were trying to put too much into this model."

"It's not a leak," said the Lord, "It's a tear."

"What's it for?" asked the angel.

"It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride," The Lord replied.

"You are a genius," said the angel.

The Lord looked somber.

"I didn't put it there," he said.

Erma Bombeck