Faces of MomWritten by Vic Peters
I grew up living with my mother, and sometimes my father when he wasn’t underneath ocean in a submarine. I wasn’t only child at home, but it often felt that way, and not just when I would lock my sister in basement, either—my mom was good at making me feel like best pumpkin in patch.
My mom was a working mom. She scrubbed floors and washed our clothes and sometimes even finished my science projects for me. I don’t remember her ever just sitting around. If she wasn’t in house, she was at blood drive or elementary school or outside crying because she had just put another dent in car. Our car had lots of dents.
She was a woman who wore lots of different faces. I called them “looks,” and I knew all of them. Being kind of kid that I was, this was a handy thing to know—especially if her look involved my rear end and her left hand.
When kids were gone and Mom’s house was empty, she got herself a “real” job in town. Although it was a respectable place of employment, I never had any desire to visit her there while she was on duty. One day, though, I had to. It wasn’t what she did that bothered me; rather, it was that look on her face—the one that I knew I would have to see when they brought me in. My mother ran ER desk of local hospital.
She saw lots of things every day—the kind of things that would land on counter and make a mess. Things like blood and throw-up and tears. She was good at her job because she was a strong woman. Even I knew that. She had beat up Billy Whitehead for me in fourth grade; he was a bully. My mom was tough and could take a lot, except when it came to children. Then she acted like every little one carried through those mechanical doors was hers. I had even seen her tell great big blubbering men to sit their butts back down and grow up, if they complained about having to wait. Mom was no one to mess with—I remember what she used to do with those thermometers.
I tried to put on a smile for her that day, as I slid down wall of emergency room, desperately fighting effects of shock. My pale white appearance couldn’t lie to her, though—the concern in her eyes told me that. Though injuries to my hand were not that severe, I still wondered as world around me began to darken.
My mom isn’t that much different from anybody else’s mother, although I’d like to say that she is. I’d like to say that she is best mother in world, but then where would that put my wife? Married guys hate this dilemma, because even broaching subject means only one of two things—sleeping on couch or going into one of those little “card shops.” Ugh.
'Tis the Season to be JollyWritten by Coach Rachelle Disbennett-Lee
'Tis season to be jolly, unless of course you have far too much to do. It isn't like we can ditch all of our other duties just to deck halls. Holiday chores are simply piled onto our already too hectic schedules. Sure, Martha makes it look easy as she makes homemade, hand-carved reindeer but don't forget that Martha has an entire staff to help her don her gay apparel.
The best way to guarantee that you will be singing fa la la la la during holidays is to make a plan and stick with it. The first measure is to decide on a budget. If you are one of those super-organized, saving type of people, now is time to go and pick up Christmas club money from bank that you have been making deposits into all year. If you are like rest of us, decide how much you can take out of what you already have. If you are going to use credit cards, then make a deal with yourself only to charge so much. Remember that come January you will have to start paying them back. Do you really want to have holidays haunt you all year long?
Not everything has to be homemade to create a wonderful heartfelt holiday. Decide what you will make and what you will buy. Homemade Christmas cards are wonderful, but if you didn't begin making them back in June, forget it. Buying them will be just fine. If you want to include a family picture with card, don't forget you will need to get picture in to photo developers far enough in advance to have it reproduced. There have been holidays past when my holiday cards became New Year's cards because I didn't have my pictures done in time. In addition, forget about writing a personal note in each one of them. Nice, but again unless you started this months ago, you will not have time. Although I know many people disdain form-type holiday letter, it is better than hearing from someone once a year and all that is in card is Love Dan and Donna. At least letter gives you a clue as to what is going on and helps you keep up with your once-a-year friends.
Although Martha will be baking a delectable array of international holiday treats, holidays will be just as sweet with just a few of your favorites. Decide which two to three types of cookies and candies you will make, schedule a day to bake, box or freeze cookies, and call it done. You might also want to consider doing a cookie exchange with some friends. Each person bakes several dozen of their favorite cookies and then exchanges what they make with several friends. This way everyone gets an array of cookies but only has to bake one kind. This is a wonderful way to keep things simple while enjoying wonderful treats and time with friends.
Keep in mind that although you are capable of doing a lot, you do not have to do it all by yourself. This is time to get entire family involved. Ask for help with everything from trimming tree, baking cookies, to wrapping gifts. Instead of being in charge of making entire holiday dinner, have everyone contribute his or her favorite dish. The holidays are about enjoying time with family and friends and not about being stressed out and exhausted.
This year plan to have a jolly holiday season by planning and being realistic about what you can do.
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