A Boy And His Mom

So yesterday I told everyone to call their mom.  It was a good idea, I stand by that.  And as my dad said, don’t forget dads.  And the reason I mentioned that is because my mom had just called me the day before… and then I got to thinking, and this is what became of that.

Monday night I spoke with my mom on the phone.  That in itself isn’t an amazing fact.  But it’s the way we talked.  It’s so much different than when I was a kid.  We’re on a different plane than before.  I like it a lot.

You want an example, here it is.  My mom said ‘shit’ while we were talking on the phone.  Now, some of you may not see this as a big deal, and it’s not like my mind was completely blown because I’ve heard it before.  But it’s not the way it was when I was growing up. 

This is a woman that all but runs her church, goes above and beyond in her work with children and parents and cares more for other people than anyone I have ever known.

A few years ago when I met a good friend I told him that he could be my +1 at the gates of heaven.  It was a joke at the time, but the more that other people heard it I was asked why they weren’t my +1 and what would they do.  Some even asked if I was going to be invited myself and what would I do then.  My answer was simple; my mom will get me in.  She has done so much good that I’m sure she has an open invitation and as many guests as she’d like. 

We’re talking salt of the earth here my friends.  I love her dearly.

It wasn’t always that way though.  I was what one might call a difficult teen.  I was stubborn (still am) and angry and hurt and confused (not sexually) and it took its toll. 

It resulted in a lot of punishment and strain.  I hated her for it.  There were times when we didn’t speak.  I left her house on April 1st 2001 and never lived there again.  I even tried to give back my key to the door.  I was made to quit baseball when I was 17 because I didn’t do well in school.  I was made to pay for gas money and mileage to get back and forth to work if I couldn’t get another ride.  I walked most of the way home from school one evening because signals got crossed as to when I was to be picked up.  I came home to no furniture in my bedroom when I still lived there, and I can’t even remember why at this point.  And still she loved me, I know that now. 

We were poison for each other then.  We couldn’t be in the same house at the same time.  There was no way we would both make it out alive. 

So in grade 12 I moved in with my grand-parents.  I don’t know if she spoke with them about it, I don’t know my dad was in on it and I don’t know if there was a plan all along that I never knew about, but that’s what happened.  And for weeks/ months it was only when my grandmother made me that I would return calls to my mom. 

And then after a few months things got a little better, a little.  I had run for Student Government Prime Minister and by some miracle, I won.  I called her from the pay phone in the lobby of my high school and told her the good news.  There was a smile plastered across my face and I’m sure that she could see it on the other end of the line.  What I didn’t know is that at the sports banquet that night I was to receive an award for contribution to the volleyball program.  My mom was there to surprise me.  She was smiling and gave me a hug.  It felt good.

At the end of my OAC year (that’s what used to be grade 13 here in Ontario) I left to Toronto for college.  I had support when I needed it.  But I was trying to prove that I was ready to be out and on my own.  I didn’t go home to visit like the other kids did.  I was home at the end of August for Nick’s 19th birthday and then home at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  That was it.  I wasn’t home sick for my family.  I needed that time, or at least I thought I did. 

And then, at the end of the school year, my grandmother passed away and I was devastated and really needed my mom.  I remember getting home on the Saturday, being with my dad and my aunts and uncles and then going to my mother’s house.  The next morning we went to church together.  Just the 2 of us.  We sat on the left hand side in the 4th or 5th pew.  And half way through the service, when she was supposed to have gone downstairs and taken care of the kid’s time for Sunday school, I broke down.  I cried like a baby.  I probably should have been embarrassed but I didn’t care.  And neither did she.  She stayed with me and took care of me.  She was my mom. 

As the time passed after that we became closer again.  I started to visit more.  I ended up living pretty nearby for a couple of years.  We even talked about our relationship.  And I remember her once looking at me and saying that she wished she was doing the mothering and taking care of me that someone else was at that time.

In recent years she’s been there for me through break-ups, moves across the province, birthdays, money trouble, faith issues, life issues and everything else that I’ve brought to her.  She reminds me what a good person is.  What kind looks like.  What love feels like.  What a random phone call on a Monday night can do, and what simple reassurance can remedy.  She’s everything that I could ever hope to be in a person.  Though I know I’ll never be as good as she is.  And I’m okay with that.  I just want to try. 

I know that I’ll ever forget these things.  The moments that I can look back on and see that she always loved me, no matter what we were fighting about.  The memories of singing by the piano and church on Sunday morning and my 18th birthday dinner at Casey’s in Cobourg and driving me to baseball all over God’s green earth.  She knew what she had to do.  She knew that I was going to be alright.  She knew that we were going to be alright.  And she made harder decisions than I think I could make in the same situations. 

I’m an adult now, though maybe not quite a grown up, and I will confess right now, to the world, that hearing my mom tell me that she’s proud of me is still one of the greatest feelings that I know.  It makes me feel like a combination of the little boy that used to hit homeruns and the adult that I am now.  It’s the perfect mix. 

To know that despite my mistakes, the ones she knows about and the ones that I don’t know that she knows about, she’s in my corner, that’s a great feeling too.

So, thank you mom, though I know you probably won’t read this, for everything that you’ve done for me.  We’ve come pretty far.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Love,

-Josh

creator of content, manager of community, writer, tweeter, coffee drinker. sports, comics, movies, food, music & pop culture geek. Proud MoBro.

3 comments on A Boy And His Mom

  1. You are an exceptional writer! Please keep the work coming. I enjoy reading what you have to say especially so because I can relate to it!

  2. Shan says:

    hey kiddo – this post made me weep … you are a wonderful person, who was raised by wonderful people – I love your Mom too! (and your Dad, of course!!)

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A Boy And His Mom

So yesterday I told everyone to call their mom. It was a good idea, I stand by that. And as my dad said, don’t forget dads. And the reason I mentioned that is because my mom had just called me the day before… and then I got to thinking, and this is what became of that.

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