Daily Dojo

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day

Above note Kai with new mother, Samurai Lady, and her own mother, just last month. Happy Mother’s Day!

Now that I’m a parent, my respect for my own mother has catapulted from, “thanks ma, you’ve been cool to have given birth to me,” to “Holy Frackin’ Shite, Ma, how in the name of all that is holy did YOU DO THIS?!”

I call her up every week and marvel about it. She also did it back in the day where the wife did everything, EVERYTHING, on her own, care for the baby, cooking and cleaning, shopping, all that (no slur on Pops, that was just how folks thought it was done back then) and she did it without help from her parents or my dad’s parents. Twenty-four seven, mom was on duty.

The Samurai Lady and I tag-team Kai responsibilities and still it’s a LOAD sometimes beyond comprehension.

My mother did it (as did my mother-in-law, pictured above) on her OWN. That blows my mind. And they didn’t have internet, either.

Josh & Ma

Above is a picture of my mother and I* in Iowa a few years back, when I took the Samurai Lady back home to meet my family. And here is my brother and I with Ma.

Rita & Rita’s Boys

Had I known then what little I know now, of parenting, I think I would have got down and kissed her feet every day.

So honor your mothers, kids. They deserve it.

*This is when I was doing the Muay Thai and regularly shaved my head, because it seemed like the thing to do when one does Muay Thai, and convenient, too.

2 Responses to “ Happy Mother’s Day”

  1. Kerry Reid Says:

    Hi Joshua,

    I lost my mom a little over a month ago. I read this post right after a friend sent me this poem in an email today, and it seemed to dovetail nicely. Hope you’ll enjoy it:

    The Lanyard
    by Billy Collins

    The other day as I was ricocheting slowly
    off the pale blue walls of this room,
    bouncing from typewriter to piano,
    from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
    I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
    where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

    No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
    could send one more suddenly into the past –
    a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
    by a deep Adirondack lake
    learning how to braid thin plastic strips
    into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

    I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
    or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
    but that did not keep me from crossing
    strand over strand again and again
    until I had made a boxy
    red and white lanyard for my mother.

    She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
    and I gave her a lanyard.
    She nursed me in many a sickroom,
    lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips,
    set cold face-cloths on my forehead,
    and then led me out into the airy light

    and taught me to walk and swim,
    and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
    Here are thousands of meals, she said,
    and here is clothing and a good education.
    And here is your lanyard, I replied,
    which I made with a little help from a counselor.

    Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
    strong legs, bones and teeth,
    and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
    and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
    And here, I wish to say to her now,
    is a smaller gift–not the archaic truth

    that you can never repay your mother,
    but the rueful admission that when she took
    the two-tone lanyard from my hands,
    I was as sure as a boy could be
    that this useless, worthless thing I wove
    out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

  2. Joshua James Says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss, Kerry.

    Thanks for the poem . . . I really appreciated it. I often feel all the tricks I do with words are about as useful and worthy as a lanyard when it comes to those I love.

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