Editor’s Note: As his annual Mother’s Day gift, Globe columnist Mike Pound allows his wife, Lee, one week of rebuttal because he is too cheap to get her a real gift.
I was having a delightful dinner with Mike on Thursday night when he asked me how the Mother’s Day column was going and reminded me of the 2 p.m. Friday deadline. Through my munching of chips and salsa I told him it was in great shape and nearly done. I then promptly called my work phone to leave myself a voice mail reminding me of the deadline time. Also known as reminding me to actually write the column.
The other day I had to run by the house and found Mike sitting at a computer with a baseball game on the radio and solitaire on the computer. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was working on his column. He said he needed to clear his mind before he started to write. I think he was procrastinating.
Procrastination is my middle name. I feel I produce much better under pressure. In my world, I think it’s a good thing. I’m a deadline kind of gal. Like the procrastination of writing this column, for example. I waited long enough to figure out what I was going to write about while using this column as a Mother’s Day gift to my mom, which was also not yet purchased as of Thursday night. Therefore, for Mother’s Day, I’m giving you my top five reasons to either apologize to or thank my mom over the years.
1. Thank you for not ever using your outside voice to say, “I told you so.” You have said it in so many words, but not those exact words, which sound so much harsher. I’m trying to remember that now that I have a teenage daughter.
2. I’m sorry for spitting at my brother when we were kids, causing him to push a scalpel into his leg and having to go to the doctor. Although to this day I blame him for sharing the sight of the dissected worm with me, thus causing the spitting. I am sorry and appreciate the scolding that you gave me.
3. I’m sorry that my sister and I got in a fight many years ago, which caused a bowl of spaghetti to be thrown across the room toward my head. Thank you for paying for the dry cleaning on my friend’s borrowed dress where the spaghetti landed. I’m sure they charged you double to get it out.
4. I’m also very sorry that I drove your car recklessly at times. Especially the time I was trying to be so cool and Mario Andretti-like, racing it into the garage. When I slammed on the brakes, which caused the car to sit at an awkward, almost perpendicular angle, you calmly went out and spent 30 minutes to straighten it out and get it re-parked. No screaming, just a look.
5. But, most importantly, thank you for not telling me how hard it would be to be a mom. You never showed how difficult it was as a mom to keep us out of trouble, keep us on the straight and narrow, and get us safely through to adulthood. You never showed how much you wanted to pull your hair out through all of the sibling squabbles, school deadlines and total absurdity of it all.
So, for all of you moms out there who work tirelessly to balance family, home, work and friends — this one’s for you. Pick your battles and remain calm. Use your outside voice carefully. Practice your parallel parking. Get the scary look honed.
As this is written on Friday, Mike is enjoying his Mother’s Day gift to me — my writing his column for the 2 p.m. deadline, while he’s probably sitting around playing solitaire on the computer.
Life is a give-and-take and “pick your battles” kind of thing. Something my mom taught me, combined with a little of Erma Bombeck’s advice of enjoying life and Mike’s take on how to clear your head before writing a column.
Two of diamonds on the three, and it’s only noon. Game of solitaire completed. My column is done!
Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.