“I love my mother as the trees love water and sunshine – she helps me grow, prosper, and reach great heights.”  ~Terri Guillemets

I am an unapologetic Momma’s Boy.  The reason is because my mother is an amazing woman.  She (obviously) has been my mother my entire life but as I became an adult she has become my friend.  

Without a shadow of a doubt my mother is the biggest influence in my life and if I had to choose a hero that I aspire to be like It would be my mom.  Now some may be asking why I am having this mushfest for my mother.  It is my Mom’s birthday today and she is impossible to buy anything for.  My mom loves a thoughtful handmade gift or just time spent together.  

I figured I would take this opportunity and scream my undying affection from the rooftop of the worldwide web.

Growing up my mom was both my Mother and my Father.  She remarried when I was eleven years old and I also have undying affection for my “Dad”, but my mother taught me the basic’s of who I am through my formative years.   As a teenager and into my early twenties it struck me how hard mom had to work to make things so called normal for my brother and I.  

A single mom raising two high energy boys and keeping a household together is a tough job. I always thought that she was super strict growing up.  As an adult and later a parent I realized that she was being a parent, and in my opinion a damn good one. 

My brother, my friends and I all knew that Pat (my mom) didn’t take any shit.  If you were screwing up, you knew it, if you didn’t follow the rules, you knew it.  Funny thing was my house was always busy people wanted to be around.  That had to be because the “rules” weren’t nonsense, they weren’t dictatorial they were designed to raise children to grow up to be adults.  Adults that don’t feel entitled.

One of the saying’s I grew up with was “When you least expect it, Expect it”  This wasn’t some sick corporal punishment reference, it was her way of teaching us that you should behave well no matter what.  In short act like your mom would approve at all times.  Did I always do this? No.  Has this helped me to make the right decision countless times? Yes.

My brother and I would be home by ourselves after school every day.  We were those “Latchkey kids” of the 70’s.  Mom had to make a living, and my brother and I enjoyed the freedom.  We weren’t alone roaming like wolves; Aunt Ginny and Uncle Chuck were on the end of the block and Grandma & Grandpa were 2 blocks away.  There was ton’s of family around always.  

Often time’s we would be playing matchbox after school and mom would just walk in the door.  Just checking in.  In hindsight she was probably running an errand from work or something but at time’s she would catch us messing up.  That was when we would hear “When you least expect it; Expect it”  For the most part it worked.

When my first daughter was born mom gave me a piece of advice.  She is not one to “meddle” in or micro-manage my life.  If I ask for advice (which I do) she is glad to give it.  Luckily she doesn’t butt in and comment on everything I do.  I appreciate that, and when she does offer unsolicited advice it means I listen all that much more.

Paraphrasing here— my mom told me “Your job is to be a parent to this child.  Be fair but be consistent.  Don’t make false threats or promises.  If you tell her you are going to break her arm you damn well better be prepared to do it.  If you aren’t then don’t say it”

Now don’t go thinking my mom likes to beat baby’s or anything, she is kind and gentle.  She was reiterating to me that I must do what I say and say what I do.  I think of this often and it has forced me to hold my tongue several times in raising my children.  This piece of wisdom along with countless other’s has helped me to have two daughters that are fantastic young adults and human being’s. 

When I first started working in bicycle shops my mom was supportive.  I was 17 and had a job.  When I continued to work in them I think she was less then happy and wished I would get a real job.  When I took my first “professional” job in the industry she came right out and told me I could be picking a better profession.  Being as stubborn as her I kept doing it.  Years later my mom told me that she was proud of me for following my passion and that she was proud of the man I have become.  That was an amazing feeling.

I don’t ask much of you; the readers of this blog.  I am going to ask you to do something for my mom’s birthday.  Take a moment and call your mom today and tell her you love her.  I am sure she will appreciate it.

Happy Birthday Mom!  I love you to the moon and back.  Thank you.  Thank you for all you have ever done, and continue to do for me.