I remember leaving school one day, it had to have been kindergarten or 1st grade, and I had a paper that I couldn’t wait to show my mom as she sat in the "Momma Bus" line in front of Cecil Everett Elementary. It was one of the very first days of the school year and we had done some sort of cut and paste activity, the kind where you might cut out the word of an animal sound from one page and paste it in the speech box of the corresponding animal. I don’t remember the details, I just remember that I had gotten mine back from my teacher and I couldn’t wait to show my mom this example of my budding genius.
I must’ve burst out of those east doors with images of legendary base-stealer Rickey Henderson flashing through my head. My skinny, bowed, white legs churning, propelling me at six, maybe seven miles per hour in the direction of the two-toned Ford Aerostar idling in the drive-thru. Clearly, my supernatural burst of speed created a vacuum in the surrounding atmosphere and the resulting wind grabbed my prized school assignment and sent it tumbling across the yard.
My stomach churned! No, I couldn’t lose it! I had to show it to my mom!
I turned on a dime and chased down the runaway craft; easily, of course, because of the superhero speed that I’ve already described. With the crisis averted, I descended upon the minivan. I threw open the sliding door, hopped inside and shoved the paper in front of my mom’s face. There was only one problem: the grade on this project that I’d been so excited to show off and had so carefully guarded, U+. Unsatisfactory! But, at least on it’s way to making the leap up to merely Needing Improvement.
Today is Mother’s Day, and as I think back to this event that happened twenty-one years ago, one thing that sticks out to me is that I don’t really remember my mom’s reaction to the U+. She might’ve played it off and cheered me on for giving it my best; she might’ve shaken her head and said, "Oh Brian, you can do better than this." I don’t really remember. But what I can remember as if it were yesterday is that I couldn’t wait to get to that minivan and it’s because I knew that my mom loved me and that she was proud of me. Well mom, I love you and I am proud of you.
Happy Mother’s Day!