2002-05-11 / Columnists

From the G-Man by Gary G. Toms

A Message To Mothers

The sweetest word you will ever hear from a child’s lips is…mommy. Now, before I get a bunch of letters and Emails from angry fathers over this comment, I want to let them know that they should just chill out. I will give them equal time come Father’s Day. This column is for the ladies who proudly wear the title of mother.

There is no doubt that mother (also known as mommy, mama, madre, emma, "moms", "momsie", and "ma") has played a crucial role in our lives, probably more so than fathers. Okay, you’ll have to hold on a moment folks. There’s a guy with a chainsaw at my door! Go away! I told you I’d take care of you in June. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Mothers have played a crucial part in our lives. They are the central figures for many males in America. Don’t think so? Just look at major sporting events like the Rose Bowl, World Series and Super Bowl. What do the players always say when they hold up one finger indicating that their team is number one? They say, "Hi mom! I love you mom." Daddy gets dissed in front of a national television audience. At times, you can almost here a collective sigh of disgust by men all across America when it happens.

I’ll give you another example of their tremendous influence. According to the old saying, what type of woman does every man hope to marry? You guessed it! Someone just like momma. Actually, that sounds kind of creepy and nasty if you ask me. Seems like that "Oedipus thing" is at work for some reason. I just get these images from the movie "Caligula." "Come son, mother’s drawn a nice bath for you." The only thing is, Caligula is like 30 years old. Ewwww! I think I’d better move on. I’m getting queasy.

If there is any degree of truth in the quote "the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach," then I suspect most men do want someone like momma because most mothers can cook up a storm. Take my "Ma" for example. We spent part of our life growing up in Shelby, North Carolina. Yep, I’m country and proud of it. My mother could cook an old boot with holes in the soles, and I’d go back for seconds. Just give me a little salt and I’m good to go. I’ve had dates cook for me, and I often used the biscuits they made as handballs on the handball courts. You can hit some nasty "rollers" with a nicely buttered biscuit. That’s why I’m glad "Ma" took the time to show me how to whip up a good meal. I’m sure I’m not alone. However, if they can’t find Martha Stewart, most men are looking for someone like mommy in the kitchen.

Let me give you just one more example of the power of "momology." Remember when you were a little girl or boy growing up? You would play and romp in the playground with your little friends, and then you’d trip and fall on that black rubber mat underneath the monkey bars and scrape your knee. You would see the skin broken, and some blood would trickle out. Remember what you did? You screamed, "Momeeee!" It was an ear-piercing scream that made people in the park think you had lost your mind. You had the slobber going and your nose was running. It was not pretty. You wailed like a banshee, and no one could shut you up. If you have children, you know this situation is still common.

Over the years, "I want my mommy," has become a phrase that is synonymous with comfort and safety. As a result, daddy, like an 80-1 shot in the Kentucky Derby, has often lagged behind "Mother’s Love" in the stretch run for recognition. Sorry, but you’re going to have to hold on again folks. Sir, put the gun down! Yes, I’m sure you are an excellent father, but you will have your moment in the sun. That’s a promise from The G-man, okay? Good. I’ll see you later, and make sure you close the door on your way out. You know, guys can be so sensitive.

While this column presents a comical look at mothers and their enormous influence, there is nothing funny about the fact that they make tremendous sacrifices to provide for their children and families. Some people out there have never known the pleasure of having a loving relationship with their mother, for one reason or another. That does not mean that it is too late to establish a relationship. Even if you can’t find any redeeming quality in the woman you call mother, you must recognize that she gave you the gift of life, as did dad. No mother is perfect, and there is no manual to teach you how to be perfect. All you can hope to do is instill love, morals, honor and respect in little Billy, Connie, Felipe or Hakeem. If you manage to do that, you would have truly fulfilled your role as a mother. My "ma" did, and I think me and my sisters turned out just fine.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. I especially want to thank my mother, sisters and lady, whom I admire as mothers that are symbolic of the past, present and future. I love you all, and I thank each of you for enriching my life.

See you next week!


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