There are things in life I’ve always been able to count on, no matter what might have been happening in the world.
For instance, since I was about 14 years old, I could count on my brush having much more hair in it after I finished getting ready in the morning than before. And there was never any doubt in my mind that my sister would manage to say something that made us question her mental stability about, I don’t know, 47 times a day.
These were always bedrocks for me, those things I just felt in my soul would happen and I never had to worry about either one of those things.
I’ve also been able to count on sports in my life — from playing them, to watching them, to talking about them with my father when there might not have been anything else we felt like discussing, sports have always been a mainstay for me.
Perhaps the most consistent factor in my life has been my mother. As Mother’s Day has approached, I have read several articles about amazing mothers, and their inspiring bonds with their children. Of course, I’ve also been reading about the woman who abonded her family 11 years ago, was legally declared dead a few years ago and just recently re-appeared to the world. Not surprisingly, her daughter, now a college student outside Philadelphia, has come out and said she wants nothing to do with the woman.
Now, my mother never ran away for 11 years. Nor did she ever bite a rabid raccoon that was attacking me (yeah, I’m looking at you, Leviathan).
What she did do, though, was always be there. Always. And I say that as someone who sometimes wished maybe she wasn’t.
See, when I went to high school, I did so with the reality that my mother was going to that same place every day. She was a Latin and English teacher at the school, and there was very little I could get away with without feeling her wrath a very short time later.
A smarter person would have taken a look at that situation, determined the best course of action and decided to play it safe. Yeah, a smarter person than I would have done that.
Me? I was pig-headed. If there was a party somewhere, I was there. If there was some kind of social gathering that called for students to maybe take a brief absence from their school schedule, I was there. If there was a massive fight at the construction site we all gathered at on a fairly regular basis...
But I digress.
The point is, I wasn’t always smart about things, given the situation at hand. And usually by about second period on a Monday morning I had a very irate mother charging down the hallways with the glare of a serial killer on her face. The resulting skirmish usually involved me lying about the situation, then faced with the evidence at hand, trying to underplay my specific role.
And then it usually wrapped up with me spending about a month on the couch on Friday and Saturday nights, since I was not allowed to leave Casa McCann except for work and school.
It was tough love, to be sure, but it was always love, and there was never any doubt in my mind about that — be it getting grounded or having my boo-boos kissed on the playground. If I was struggling with a class, or dealing with a breakup with a girl or just having a bad day, Mommy McCann was always there, and there is something marvelous to say for that.
So, Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. Though I know I should offer more appreciation on a regular basis, know that you are always in a special place in my heart.
Even when you choose to hang up on me because you have a tee-time.