Sunday, May 10, 2009

dear mama

Today is Mother's Day. I thought I would take the opportunity to salute two of my favorite ladies, and the two best mom's I know. The first is my very own mother....AKA Mrs. Cynthia... AKA Mama LeRoy ...AKA the architect of the finest in southern cuisine. If you don't know my mom, it's your loss. Her selflessness, sincerity, and generosity are well-founded, and her chicken spaghetti is the stuff of legend. She consistently and without exception puts others before herself, and never gives up on anyone. If she thinks she has unduly offended you, she will not only apologize for the trespass, but will also abstain from sleep for the next week just to make sure. We pick on my mom a lot because she tries so hard to please everyone, all while taking as many pictures of them as is humanly possible. But we would never change her. Like any mom, she is not without her flaws. Yet flaws are far easier to excuse when they spring from a heart of genuine compassion.

Then there's Laura. Of course I was in love with Laura long before she became a mom. I first knew her as a friend , then as a girlfriend, and then as a wife. I've only known her as a mother for a couple of years, but knowing her as a mother is to know her on a level much deeper than before. I'm not sure if motherhood unearthed something that has always been there, or if it created something entirely new. Whatever it is, and whenever it came into being, I now see something in Laura that humbles me as I endeavor to raise a child with her. As I type this, Anna Grace is running a fever. When Anna Grace is well, it may appear to the untrained eye that Laura and I love her equally. But the higher the temperature, the wider the gap between her love and mine. There is a fierceness in a mother's love that even the most affectionate of fathers fall short of. It's not always pretty. In fact, I find it to be every bit as frightening as it is beautiful. A mother casts aside common sense, moderation, and many other virtues in her primal pursuit to lavish love on her children. Thanks ladies.