|Grateful Greetings, July 4, 1997
In the some 20,000 titles listed in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, none defies description like the honored position of MOTHER. In the following, Erma Bombeck helps us to understand why.
When the good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of "overtime" when the angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."
And the Lord said, "Have you read the specs on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have 180 movable parts...all replaceable; run on black coffee and leftovers; have a lap that disappears when she stands up; a kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair; and six pairs of hands."
The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands...no way."
"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord. "It's the three pairs of eyes that mothers need to have."
"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel. The Lord nodded. "One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, "What are you kids doing in there?' when she already knows; another pair in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but has to; and, of course, the ones here in the front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say, 'I understand and I love' without so much as uttering a word."
Touching His sleeve gently, the angel continued, "Lord, come to bed. Tomorrow..."
"I can't," replied the Lord, "I'm so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick...can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger...and can get a nine-year-old to stand under a shower."
The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," she sighed. "But tough!" said the Lord excitedly. "You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure." "Can it think?" asked the angel. "Not only think; it can reason and compromise," said the Creator.
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model." "It's not a leak," said the Lord, "it's a tear." "What is it for?" asked the angel. "It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride." "You're a genius," said the angel.
The Lord said, looking somber, "I didn't put it there."
The task of motherhood is sacred and of supreme importance to our free society. Mothers have a unique opportunity, through nurturing and by example, to promote and sustain the values of responsibility, courage, sacrifice, love, and devotion that are essential for a free society.