1.22.2008

For One More Day...

I am reading the book For One More Day by Mitch Albom. I am really enjoying it and it makes me think a lot about my relationship with my own mom and my relationship with my children.

What an amazing concept isn't it? To have one more day with someone we love? I would chose my brother, or my Grandpa Mac or maybe my Grandma Pat. It is a perfect thought.

Anyway, in this book "Chick" keeps recollecting memories from his childhood. Memories of when his mother stood up for him, and memories of when he neglected to stand up for his mother. We all have those memories, and in adulthood we even feel the pains of guilt that come with them.

I remember once when I didn't stand up for my mom.

I played softball throughout my childhood and I loved it. One year I had a hot shot for a coach named Brenda. Brenda was young and cool and she could play some ball. I probably put Brenda up on a very high pedestal... I have no doubt I did. At the end of the season, the moms organized a mother/daughter softball game. I remember laughing at the notion that my mother-the woman who didn't even own a pair of tennis shoes-was going to play ME in softball. Impossible.

Brenda decided to be on our team-the softball players, and not the mom team-the women who had come to every single game and cheered us on and yelled things like "Whadda ya Blind?" at the umpires. Thinking back now, she really should have helped out the parents... but what did she know? She was young and a hot shot. I will never forget what happened when Brenda went up to bat. She knocked the ball wayyyyy far out into the outfield... and who do you think was playing left field and had to run and run and run after that ball with her little white Keds and her polyester pedal pushers? My mother. I can still see her running after the ball and then trying with all of her might to throw it in... it didn't get too far. Brenda scored with a home run off of my mother's inept softball abilities and we won.

I laughed at my mom that day. While I was laughing something inside of me was worried about her. Worried she may hurt herself with all of that running or throw out her back with her attempt at a throw to second base. But I laughed.

I hate that I laughed. My mom came to every single softball game I ever played in from the age of 9 all the way through high school... I think she even made a few in college. She brought jugs full of water and extra coins for the ice cream man. She was there when I wanted her, but even better, she was there when I didn't want her.

I hate that I didn't stand up for my mom. If I ever run into that Brenda (who I am sure is working at the town bowling alley and smokes 3 packs of Virginia Slims a day) I would tell her that she should have played on the mom team.

I should have cheered for my mom... I gotta go, I have an important phone call to make.

11 comments:

Jud said...

Ahhh, Chris. Don't make me become all introspective and think about all of the times I was a crappy son. I was. Often.

I want more kid's fart stories, or pictures of cute toes, or homemaking lessons.

But honestly, very moving little story and amazingly honest exposition.

Hilary said...

And we moms forgive readily and easily. I'm sure yours did too. A tender tale, though.

Hope said...

Ack...I am sure like I mentioned at shoved to them that me reading your two pots at the hour of mercy was meant to be...well damn and here I thought I had these kinds of thoughts well repressed. I'm calling my mom, too...well I mean in 5 or 6 hours...

Kasia said...

Awww. I'm sure as soon as your mom sees this, she'll forgive you. (Though if she's smart, she'll make you grovel a little before she tells you you're forgiven. :-p)

Beth said...

What a sweet post! Lucky for us, moms have tough skins (even if they are wearing Keds!)

Rose said...

This has got to be one of the very best posts I have ever read by you.

Mrs Marcos said...

My mom has been gone for just over 8 years. How I yearn to tell her one more time "I'm sorry I was embarrassed that one time you ____" or ask her forgiveness for the "rotten mother" accusations thrown at her when she wouldn't/couldn't whip up a Japanese Kimono out of a bed sheet for Halloween in 6th grade. All the unspoken apologies...it eats at me.

Anonymous said...

we all can relate to your comments. I have thought a thousand times in the last four years about my insensitivity with my aged mother at the checkout line at the grocery store. Her fumbling thru her coupons and counting out change while a long line of patrons were waiting...I dont know exactly what starts these memories but the emotion is still intense. You're lucky that you can call...

Heather said...

Ok, now I'm just sitting here all teary-eyed! Damn! I remember this really awful, awful time that I called my Mom the B word. Yes, I was awful & 18. She stepped into a really bad arguement between my boyfriend (now my hubby) and me when we were breaking up in college. It was a moment full of intense feelings and I let her have it when really I was hurt and angry with the boy instead. I will NEVER forget the moment the word left my lips, nor will I EVER be sorry enough for that moment. It's one of my worst moments ever. Ok, now I have to call my Mom, oh and I'll let the hubby have a piece of my mind when he gets home for putting me in that situation nearly 20 years ago....;)

southernjoy said...

((((((hugs))))))

Anonymous said...

Lovely, Chris.

While your story helps bring out that good ol' Catholic guilt in most folks about not being as good a daughter or son as we should be -- oddly, for me, I am feeling guilty about not being an outstanding mom to my little one. I'm a stay at home, homeschooling mom, with a stable marriage, home, finances, etc, but I feel I am sooo lacking as a mother.

I wish there were little mom-helping devices with buzzers that would go off to tell you when to keep your mouth shut, or open it, and give various other instructions with plenty fore-warning at appropriate times!