Write About It

Word to my Mother

birthday cake

Word to my Mother
© Wes Gow

Today my mother hits a mile-stone birthday (don’t worry ma’, I’m not telling which!).  I sent her a card, of course, one of those from the “restricted-humor-funny-section” at Target.  I’m sure she’ll appreciate it coming from me, but seeing as how this is a special day, I thought I’d take a moment and recount some of my fondest memories of her.

  • I’m fairly certain that I spent a large portion of my childhood wearing blue jeans and no shirt.  This shouldn’t sound odd to you for two reasons:  1) I grew up in Florida, and even to this day what I just described is quite close to normal attire, for all ages; 2) I was infatuated with The Incredible Hulk!  Big props to you, Mom, both for letting me watch that freakish green body builder of 80’s, and then allowing me to rip open shirts and stalk around the house in my best impersonation:)
  • Once in elementary school I absolutely begged my mom to let me go out with some friends on a school night.  I had a test in Health class the next day, which I assured her I was adequately prepared for.  I wasn’t, and I bombed it.  I saw that big red letter across the top and knew that was my death knell.  “See you guys in the next life,”  I told my classmates when the bell dismissed us for the day.  After showing her the test, she said that she’d have to discuss my punishment with Dad.  Not good.  I can still clearly recall doing the dishes that night (my only memory of that) and asking what my punishment would me. “Well Wes,” she said, “we actually think you’ve learned your lesson here already.”  White doves flew to the heavens!  I’ve never forgotten your grace in that moment, and I aced the next Health test.
  • Before we leave the toddler/childhood years, I must address one thing that I cannot forgive you for, Mom.  One year I went to a huge halloween party dressed as friggin Scooby-Do, which wasn’t a big deal at all until I walked into the room and saw Andy Glyser in a perfectly sewn Super Man costume.  First, I was glad to be wearing a dang mask.  Second, I’m pretty sure I cowered under a table feeling like a huge idiot.  But you redeemed yourself, and I believe from then on my brother and I were always pirates for Halloween.

As we enter the high school and college years, my mom deserves something of a Lifetime Achievement Award.  I mean, I was a pretty good kid, comparatively, but still I can’t believe that you (or I) lived through that:)

  • Without a doubt, I got dates in high school probably because my mom let me drive the firebird.  THE FIREBIRD.  Hunter green, T-top, and smooth as silk.  I got my first kiss standing next to that car, and redlined it more than a few times to get home by curfew.
  • Kuddos to you, Mom, on forgiving me for scaring you to death on some of my fishing (mis)adventures!  Actually countless misadventures.  Given my own recklessness, I couldn’t be happier now as a father to daughters!
  • I was pretty gun-shy in college in regards to serious relationships with gals; I practically side-stepped that fine threshold at all costs.  In fact, my mother practically begged me to bring a lady home for her to meet.  But I knew that meeting the family would make things pretty serious (Napoleon Dynamite voice), so I kept my love interests close to the vest.  Mom gave me the space and time that she knew I needed, and when I brought THE ONE home on a Thanksgiving holiday, she gave me a knowing smile that indicated her delight and approval.

Lastly, Mom, I’ve got you to thank for the sheer fact that this note exists at all, or more specifically on this platform.  You’ve been the loudest and proudest cheerleader for me as a fledgling writer, gently goading me all these years to begin taking steps toward a greater understanding and practice of the craft.  You’re the best editor I could ever ask for!  Someday we’ll write that killer novel together, (and I promise to tone down the language!), but when we do you can bet your name will be in the “dedicated to” liner at the very beginning.

Happy Birthday Mom!!

(I’m going to send you some crazy memes all day, so keep your phone close by.  For once:)