My mom has told me a lot of things. I have listened to them all. Admittedly, I have not always given the impression that I was listening, but somehow even those tough love sermons managed to permeate my crossed arms, frown, and eye rolling. Mom, if you're out there reading this: thank you for taking the time. Thank you for spending the energy. Thanks for caring. Not just that one time. Or all the others. And then there was the complication of having three of us boys to nurture and correct.
And yet, I cannot say that I ever felt pushed in any particular direction. Somehow, even though I found myself periodically staring off into the abyss of a teenage wasteland, I managed to hear that voice in my ear when things got a little too hectic. I was given a set of tools with which I could make my way through the tundra of adolescence, and into the bright shining potential of adulthood. My mother had a way of describing the tough times She called them "turning a corner." That's a pretty good allegory for the maze of life. Always a corner to turn.
And so there I was, having completed that particular tangle of paths that led me to the previously mentioned adulthood, suddenly burdened with the realization that there were whole new levels to navigate. Not the least of which was raising a kid of my own. I was very fortunate to have a similarly disposed middle child as my co-pilot on this adventure. My wife has raised a pretty amazing son. Many of those same low-pressure high expectations that we experienced as kids were tried out on our lone offspring. Early on in this voyage, my wife spoke to me about being "The Cookie House." She wanted to make ours a home where kids would feel comfortable coming after school, or overnight, And magically, her wish came true. Our living room was regularly filled with friends. There were several of these wanderers who referred to my wife as "Mommy Kristen." This took me back to my own childhood, when my mother took in all manner of strays and lonely boys and girls. They were all happy to get a taste of some of that warm-hearted acceptance.
I am hopeful that someday our son will have a Cookie House of his own. Today is a day to celebrate those mothers who brought us up with love, and fairness, and waited patiently for us to turn our corners and understood when it took a little extra time. Thank you for the continued interest in the unraveling maze of our lives. It was my mother who once informed me that "Sometimes lost isn't such a bad thing."
She was so right.