A mother’s love is complete, constant and indescribable
There are just some things words — whether they are written or spoken — can never fully describe. And, for a career that is predicated on describing things in print, that is tremendously frustrating.
One of the things difficult to describe that comes to mind is a sunset.
A few times over the past few weeks, Stephanie and I have loaded up the children in the car, stopped by a local eatery for a few scoops of ice cream and then raced over to the riverfront to watch a sunset over the Mississippi River.
While some of our more popular choices have been blocked off due to closures — or whatever other reason — we have still found a way to catch the few final moments of light as the sun sets.
It’s fun to listen to the boys — our youngest — try to come up with words to describe the colors that are cast on the clouds over the river. While I have often enjoyed a sunset in silence, having the play-by-play from an 8-year-old and a 6-year-old, both talking while at the same time eating ice cream, is a fantastic experience.
Another thing tough to describe in print is the thrill I get watching our three children find joy in play.
That might be an interesting way to say that, but in the weeks since many things have been closed, including schools and the ballfields, our three children have had to make do with they have.
As parents — particularly Stephanie — who has been mother, teacher, referee, judge and jury in recent weeks — we have done what our parents did to us; thrown them outside and told them to “go play.”
The miles they have put on their bikes are substantial, as are the scrapes, bruises and bouts with poison ivy. The boys have tried to modify their new bikes, including a trick using an empty water bottle shoved near the back tire to make the bicycle sound like a motorcycle. Cool trick; wish someone had shown me that one nearly 40 years ago.
Then there is the one that words simply fail at describing; the love of a mother.
As we mark Mother’s Day — a day where husbands fail miserably each year at properly honoring — I yet again take a swing at describing what is indescribable, measuring what is unmeasurable and understanding that as a father I can not even come close to understanding.
When we were about to welcome Clayton, our first son, Stephanie worried about raising a boy. Sarah Cameron, 5 at the time, was well on her way to being particularly bossy, dominant and ruler of all things, but a boy made Stephanie nervous.
The only advice I could give, having been a boy myself, is saying “don’t worry, boys bounce.”
Now, there are two things wrong with that phrase; first, boys don’t bounce, they crash. And the second, and biggest mistake made in that statement, is to tell Stephanie, a mother, to not worry.
In recent weeks and months as the boys have quickly moved from training wheels to outright daredevils on their bikes, ripping through the neighborhood, she holds her breath each time they leave the door. For me, the quiet of them not being there for a moment is refreshing. To her, the silence is deafening.
Every time a ground ball is to hit to Sarah Cameron during one of the 1.3 million softball games we have been to in recent years, Stephanie stops breathing, every pop up to Sarah Cameron lasts an eternity.
As a son to a mother, I know what a mom means in life. I am still blessed to have the chance to talk to mine each day, even though I fail to make that phone call every day. And, I know what Stephanie means in the lives of our children, even if right now at this stage of their lives, they don’t quite fully appreciate it.
A mother’s love is complete, down the fundamental building block of every atom. It is all-encompassing and completely indescribable.
The best I could do is provide a quote from an unknown author: “Life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother.”
Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, my wife and to all of those who continue to worry about every scraped knee, every broken heart and every ground ball.
Tim Reeves is editor of The Vicksburg Post. he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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