Sunday, May 20, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Lovely memories of mom include flying shoes

Sometimes, my mother assumed the role of an extra in an old spaghetti Western.

When I got out of hand, she displayed an amazing ability and agility to hit me with a shoe from across the room without moving.

When the shoe struck, you heard the whistling music of a high noon cowboy showdown.

The impending celebration of mothers allows me to reflect upon my own childhood memories while reliving them all over again through the eyes of my children. And my kids will be glad to know they have it easier.

The bumps and bruises that come with childhood are often only healed by a mother's magic hug or kiss filled with healing powers that make the worst pain better. I see this scenario played out often with my wife and our two sons. As they grow and become older, I also see their independence and individuality.

There is a litany of worries that my wife and I fear, that I don't recall my mother worrying about when I was a child. We drank water from the hose outside, rode our bikes out of sight of home and we never wore a helmet. I scoffed at the seeming softness of these new age kids until my younger son fell off of his bike and landed on a small rock in the street that left him needing stitches.

As I grew older, I winced when my mother would tell me to say hello to someone before I actually had a chance to say hello myself. Amazingly, my older son recently told me to give him a chance to say hello first at his concert in the park after meeting a couple who complimented his performance.

How can I forget my mother picking up the phone when I was in high school, right in the middle of my best pickup line, to tell me that she needed the phone and for me to tell the little girl I was talking to "good night."

When I think about today's technology, I know that my kids have it easier. However, I am beginning to understand what my wife and my mother have known all along regarding the limited time we have to enjoy our children's young years.

The best advice I can share with the sons of all mothers is to appreciate the stages of life that you shared and have yet to share. The magic hugs and kisses may decline or even cease, but the love remains always.

Keith Berry is a married father of two sons who lives in Westchase.

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