Friday, May 12, 2006

Ther Perfect Mother by Erma Bombeck

Dear WTMs, It has been kind of a bad week, one of those weeks that things just go wrong. On Friday, the last day of this hellish week, I was faced with the following:
1)The home phone was turned off. Because I forgot to pay the bill. Shit. Was turned back on 30 minutes later but I was pissed at myself for being a loser. 2)There was no underwear to speak of, for me to wear, so today I was forced to go...commando. 3)It is the weekend before Mother's Day and I always miss my mom alot on this weekend. She died of cancer in 2000 and Mother's Day still gets me. I knew I had to do something...so I turned to my WTM role model, the White Trash Mom that started it all...ERMA. I blogged about Erma Bombeck's column, "The Perfect Mother", in September 2005. Sorry if this is a re-run for some of you. I just needed the reminder today and thought that maybe some of you would like it. Again. From her book "Motherhood--The Second Oldest Profession". Have a great Mother's Day! The Perfect Mother “ by Erma Bombeck Everyone said Sharon was a terrific mother. Her neighbors said it. Sharon painted the inside of her garbage cans with enamel, grew her own vegetables, cut her own grass every week, made winter coats for the entire family from remnants, donated blood and baked Barbara Mandrell a doll cake for her birthday. Her mother said it. Sharon drove her to the doctor’s when she had an appointment, color-coordinated the children’s clothes and put them in labeled drawers, laundered aluminum foil and used it again, planned family reunions, wrote her Congressman, cut everyone’s hair and knew her health insurance policy number by heart. Her children’s teacher said it. She helped her children every night with their homework, delivered her son’s paper route when it rained, packed nutritious lunches with little raised faces on the sandwiches, was homeroom mother, belonged to five car pools and once blew up 234 balloons by herself for the seventh grade cotillion. Her husband said it. Sharon washed the car when it rained, saved antifreeze from year to year, paid all the bills, arranged their social schedule, sprayed the garden for bugs, moved the hose during the summer, put the children on their backs at night to make sure they didn’t sleep on their faces, and once found a twelve-dollar error on a tax return filed by H & R Block. Her best friend said it. Sharon build a bed out of scraps left over from the patio, crocheted a Santa Claus to cover the extra roll of toilet paper at Christmastime, washed fruit before her children ate it, learned to play the harpsichord, kept a Boston fern alive for a whole year, and when the group ate lunch out, Sharon always figured out who owed what. Her minister said it. Sharon found time to read all the dirty books and campaign against them. She played guitar at evening services. She corresponded with a poor family in Guatemala…in SPANISH. She put together a cookbook to raise funds for a new coffee maker for the church. She collected door to door for all the health organizations. Sharon was one of those women blessed with a knack for being organized. She planned a “theme party” for the dog’s birthday, made her children elaborate Halloween costumes out of old grocery bags and her knots came out just right on the shoelaces when they broke. She put a basketball hoop over the clothes hanger as an incentive for good habits, started seedlings in a toilet paper spindle, and insulated their house with empty egg cartons, which everyone else threw away. Sharon kept a schedule that would have brought any other women to her knees. Need twenty-five women to chaperone a party? Give the list to Sharon. Need a mother to convert the school library to the Dewey Decimal System? Call Sharon. Need someone to organize a block party, garage sale or a school festival? Get Sharon. Sharon was a SUPER MOM! Her gynecologist said it. Her butcher said it. Her tennis partner said it. Her children… Her children never said it.
They spent a lot of time with Rick’s mother, who was always home with them and who ate cookies out of a box and played poker with them.

11 Comments:

Blogger Jen said...

I'm sorry to hear you've lost your mother. My family and I understand and can relate to that sadness. My grandma who was the most wonderful woman to me and practically raised my brother and I when we were much younger died on Mother's Day 2002. Its a very hard weekend for us as well. My thoughts will be with you and all the other people out there this weekend who have lost their mother, or a great woman they've know who was a mother.

5/12/2006 2:21 PM  
Blogger Babaloo said...

I've never read that before... Thanks for posting it (again) and Happy Mother's Day!

5/12/2006 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Kim said...

I am sorry about the loss of your mother, I can relate. My mother passed the day after mother's day 8 years ago.

As for commando, I have been going this way since 12 (and I wasnt a slut)

5/12/2006 2:45 PM  
Anonymous jane d'oh said...

Ironically, I just blogged about this same topic. Once you lose your mother, the day is forever difficult. I hope you have a nice weekend and eat lots of cookies!

5/12/2006 5:49 PM  
Blogger Pickalish said...

I hope you can enjoy your Mother's Day by reminiscing about all the good times with your mama....and I, too, adore Erma. That was great, and oh so true!

5/12/2006 6:59 PM  
Blogger Mert said...

I can relate , but for other reasons. My mother is bipolar and has Multiple Personality Disorder, she basically has been absent for a long time. The mother that was there, I choose not to remember. Mother's day is hard for me because it makes me sad that I (and my brothers) were never good enough. *shrug*

Anyway, I hope that you have a wonderful Mother's Day, and thanks for the excerpt. It's a good reminder that all the activities in the world don't make you a good mom, being there for your kids does.

5/13/2006 10:02 AM  
Blogger Wineaux1 said...

Usually your blogs make me laugh out loud, but this one made me cry. My mom passed away on May 10, 1988. She loved Erma Bombeck, read everthing she wrote and many times taped articles to the fridge! She wasn't perfect but she was a great mom! I miss her!

My thoughts are with you. I know what you're going through!

5/14/2006 8:22 AM  
Blogger queen of wt said...

Thanks all for your comments! Mother's Day is always a sad and happy day and I really appreciate the kindness.

5/14/2006 8:57 AM  
Blogger NeverEnough said...

Haha!! So true. So true. And I thought I was the only woman on earth who ever had to go commando because of failure to do all my laundry, so you made my day with this admission!!

5/14/2006 12:36 PM  
Anonymous j-yo said...

I'm sorry about the loss of your mom. Thanks for sharing your story with us and also Erma's article, which I've never read. I'm convinced that when my kids grow up, they won't remember whether the house was clean and organized (they don't even notice now!) but they WILL remember if I ever did anything fun with them. Anyway, that's my excuse for not cleaning the house.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

5/14/2006 8:48 PM  
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