Mothers celebrate our childrens’ hits, and clean up after their misses.
Cleaning my sons’ bathrooms recently, it occurred to me that target practice is not just a military enterprise, as mothers across the country run their own personal boot camps with very few metals to show for it. This Mother’s Day seems like a good time to celebrate the Strategic Air Command that makes up the modern home … with Mom as commander-in-chief, and queen of the bulls-eye.
Motherhood can be summed up as a long and intensive training camp in which target practice is our primary focus. It is our mothers who define the target early on, celebrate our hits, and frankly clean up after the misses, and it’s moms who delight in every goal reached, no matter how mundane.
Of course it starts small … the food goes into the mouth; its antithesis goes into the potty. The baby goes into the chair, to grandma’s house, to a play date, to the doctor’s office where the child becomes his or her own personal pin cushion of immunization while the mom holds the weeping child, wishing she could take the shot.
We applaud our children as they target their first letters between the red and blue lines on writing paper; hang their drawing when they color outside of the lines, show them how to charm the person in authority — from the teacher, to the traffic cop, to our boss — for those inevitable moments when they will miss the mark, but need the grace.
Moving from encampment to encampment, it’s a miss when your child runs into a bully, an apathetic teacher or a cruel soccer coach. So we gear up for battle, to fight for our children, moving them to better places, teaching them to stand up for themselves and grieving when they take a hit, even though sometimes that’s what it…