Happy Mother’s Day · 7 May 2016

Moms have the hardest job in the world. That is why we have Mother’s Day. To thank them for doing such a hard and thankless job.

I know we have Mother’s Day to thank our moms for being our moms. For thanking our wives for being the moms to our children. For thanking our grandmas for being our grandmas. It is a wonderful day of saying thank you. But if we really took the time to think about the job of being a mom, we would want to give them much more than chocolate, flowers, and a card.

But when we really think about the job of a mom, we can forget many of the normal stuff. Forget the diapers and midnight feedings. Forget staying up with the sick child. Forget the endless nights waiting for the kid to come home from who knows where. Forget that most mothers are career women, who bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan and then give it to the kiddies. Forget too that most moms take care of the kids and that guy who caused them to have all those children in the first place. After all, most dads are just kids too.

Okay. We do not really want to forget all those things that moms do. We do not want to forget that they do so many tough and wonderful jobs. But those jobs seem trivial to the hardest job of all. Letting go.

My dad used to tell the story of when I left for college that first year. He said that my mom cried for half an hour. Her oldest baby was growing up and leaving home. But Dad always continued and told us that the second year when my brother, Russell, and I both left for college, Mom cried for four hours. Four hours. Maybe Dad exaggerated the time, but the point was that she cried more when we both left. Sure, she still had half her kids left. Our other brother and our sister were still at home and would be for a few more years. Still, she cried and cried and cried.

Thinking about that story, Mom must have understood the significance of “leave and cleave” more than any of the rest of us. Or she was prophetic and realized that neither of us would end up coming back to live too close to them. Either way, she understood that a son is a son until he finds him a wife, but a daughter is a daughter all of her life. Mom understood all too well that she might not really see us much after we left. She understood the hardest part of motherhood was letting go.

Letting go does not make any sense from an investment standpoint. Think about it. All that time and effort go into raising a child and all that child does when he or she leaves the nest is to send some sappy Mother’s Day card each year. Or not. Calls, texts, or even blog posts are few and far between. Leave and cleave. Those rotten boys just leave their moms and cleave to their wives. At least the moms have their daughters. If they have daughters. And if those daughters stick around.

Ah well. Such is life. You raise your kids to be independent and what do they go and do? They become independent. “See ya.” It is just what you want, but it is a travesty.

That is why mothers have the hardest job in the world. They do all those disgusting and nasty jobs (diapers and runny noses), and all those wonderful jobs (fixing owies and giving hugs) and all they get in return for their efforts are sporadic phone calls and maybe a card for Mother’s Day.

Or maybe that is just me.

I cannot make up for the unmade calls or sporadic texts. I cannot send cards and gifts for all those times I should have sent them. But I can say thank you. I can say I love you. And I can say Happy Mother’s Day.

I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day. Thanks for doing the hardest job in the world. Being my mom.

© 2016 Michael T. Miyoshi

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