Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Oh That Must be His Mom"

©2009 Angie Ruark

Did your mom ever drive you to school in her bathrobe, wearing bright orange socks with dress shoes? Did she ever tell a story about you to a bunch of people that she thought was cute and you thought was mortifying? How about pulling out the ol’ baby pictures for company, or worse, like someone you were dating? Why do moms do these things? Why do they yell at the top of their lungs at soccer games, football games, volleyball games, and every other kind of event their kids are in? Why do they insist on driving to some stranger’s house to take your picture before the big dance? Why do they want a kiss or hug before they drop you off at school (or work!) in front of everyone? How come they want to know all the details about your day as soon as they see you? How come they nag you about brushing your teeth, combing your hair, and wearing clean underwear? How come they stay up late doing your laundry or typing your paper the night before it’s due? What makes them go to the store for the fifth time that day to get another bag of popsicle sticks so you can finish your project by tomorrow?

The answer is simple: they can’t help it. It’s built-in mom behavior. Like it or not, that’s the way it is. I know it first hand now from both sides of the fence because I have a mom and I am a mom. And yes, I have driven my boys to school looking pretty scary on occasion-orange socks and all (with the added bonus of a promise to come in to their class and get my hug but only AFTER I have serenaded them in front of everyone, which, by the way, works every time.) But that is because my boys know that I would do it. These kinds of things just come naturally to moms.

It’s like this mom-stinct takes over and you MUST stand up and wave to your child who is on stage right in the middle of the song and take twenty pictures in a row, then cry about how proud you are. Other people know and understand this. They say, “Oh, that must be his mom.” You can always spot me at any of my children’s events. I stand out like a….. like a mom at her kid’s event! One time, my oldest son had the lead part in a play. I was very well behaved during the whole thing. I didn’t hoot and holler when he came out on stage, I didn’t stand up and cheer, I just watched and enjoyed. But the mom behavior stood out anyway because after the show, a lady walked up to me and said, “That was your son wasn’t it?”

I said (with incredible mom-pride, yet feigning objectivity,) “How did you know?”

The lady laughed and said, “I saw your face while you were watching him.”

So you see? Moms just can’t help it. And I am this way with all three of my sons. I look at them and my heart just overflows with love, pride, and joy. Yep, it’s true. Call it cheesy, call it sentimental, call it mushy-gushy mom stuff, but it is true. And I do not apologize for any outlandish mom-stinct behavior I exhibit. I don’t have to. People will just look at me and understand. They will say, “Oh, that must be his mom!”

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Battle Begins

©2009 by Angie Ruark

The other morning I looked in the mirror. What I saw brought a line from a poem to mind by Dylan Thomas: “Do not go gentle into that good night.” I had never even read the entire poem before, I just remembered that line. It has to do with fighting against death and not succumbing or giving up, even when it is inevitable. This noble attitude can now perfectly describe me. I’m not dying but the battle is none the less significant and worthy. This conflict in which I am now engaged is one, like death, we all must face. It takes fortitude, stamina, and wit to continually combat this common enemy. I have joined the countless other brave souls who are currently engaging this relentless foe. “Onward! Onward! Defeat is not an option!” is our battle cry. We will attack from all sides night or day. We will not give up or give in. If one of us does eventually succumb, it will not be without a fight! We will not go gently into that good night!

Ok, so now you are probably wondering what it is I am fighting against. I’ll tell you. When I looked in the mirror, I noticed there was something shiny on the top of my head. It caught the light and sparkled a little when I moved my head. I leaned in closer to get a better look (because I can’t see that far without my glasses on.) What I saw took my breath away. There, in all its lone glory, was a shiny, sparkly, white hair. It stood out so perfectly against the backdrop of my brown hair. I immediately called my husband at work and told him I needed to talk to him right away.

“Honey, what’s wrong?” he asked, with a hint of worry in his voice.

“I have a gray hair on top of my head,” I bemoaned. My husband (who already has some gray) broke into laughter with relief that it wasn’t something actually serious. Except it was! “The date is April 2nd, 2009 and I have my first gray hair,” I complained.

My husband was so sweet, he first wanted to know if it was coming from the side of my head, the back or the top. I told him the top. He clacked away on his keyboard and found some information somewhere that said if it is growing out of the top of the head, then it is not a true gray hair. It could be caused by a clogged follicle. Yes! I latched onto that one immediately! That’s all it was! A clogged follicle! I had been trying to use up a bottle of cheap shampoo, so that must have caused it! Ahhh. What a relief. Except now the vigilance begins. I will be like a sentry on the watch for invading forces. When spotted I will sound the alarm! Then I will run to the store, get a box of hair color, and color my hair.

I’m not going gently! I’m going to fight!