The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

May 15, 2006

5-14 Apparently So parenting column by Craig Harris

By CRAIG HARRIS, Special to Herald-Press

Let’s face it, moms are amazing. I’m glad we take this day to honor and remember them. I mean, come on, we wouldn’t even have life without them. Then, once we were born, the fun was just beginning. When you think of your mom you think of sacrifice.

They put aside their own comfort to make sure we are happy, healthy, fed, comfortable, clean, clothed, disciplined, literate, polite, advised, presentable, content, warm, bandaged, encouraged, soothed, rested and on time.

The husband and wife were sitting in their chairs watching the late night news. He looks over and says, "I think I’ll go to bed." She says, "Yeah, me too." He gets up and goes to bed. She picks out the kids’ clothes and irons them; puts the dishes in the washer and starts it; takes towels from the dryer and folds them; feeds the dog; puts out the cat; signs her son’s homework paper; fills out a PTA form; reads a story to her daughter who is trying to get to sleep; straightens the books and magazines; turns off the lights and TV, then, an hour later, goes to bed.

It’s more than a full-time job and it never quite ends.

Someone put a monetary price on it recently. It was six figures — more than $120,000 per year. They figured the price of maid service, nursing, catering, transportation, laundry service, etc., plus all of the overtime. Yep, that sounds about right. In fact, it’s probably a conservative figure. Let’s be honest, moms are priceless.

So today, we have to try to figure out how to put a dollar figure on what our moms mean to us. We need to buy them something nice to show how much we love them. This is a daunting task. There’s no way we can give them something expensive enough to show what they really mean. We couldn’t afford it if we found such an item, but you know moms: whatever we give them will be wonderful so long as it’s heart-felt — and a hug and "love you" goes with it.

That reminds me of the groom standing in front of the preacher with his bride-to-be by his side. He asks the preacher how much he should pay him for the wedding service. The preacher says, "Just pay me what you think she’s worth." The groom hands him a dollar, then the preacher lifts the woman’s veil and gives him fifty cents back.

Not moms — moms are simply worth whatever value we think our lives possess.

The thing that traps me every year, though, is that I have to get something for my wife. "You ain’t my mamma," I tell her. And every year she reminds me, "But, I’m your children’s mother and you’re getting me something on their behalf." She’s right; how could I put a price on the care she takes of my children? Not to mention, the running of our home (and buying my mother a Mother’s Day present!).

So what to get her? I’d get her a watch but there’s no need; there’s a clock on the stove. I’d get her shoes but we have perfectly good carpet in the house. No seriously, I’d get her a broom except I know she would beat me with it if I did.

I guess I’ll just use this space to tell my mom, grandmother and wife, "I love you and I thank you for all you do to make my life worth living. Thank you for the happy homes you provided for me and my children." Happy Mother’s Day.

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The Rev. Craig Harris is pastor at Montalba Christian Church and is employed as the Parent Involvement Coordinator for Palestine Independent School District. Contact Harris at http://www.sycamoretreepublishing.com