When I was 10 years old, my first girlfriend Karen broke up with me via a note passed to me in Miss Bates’ fourth grade homeroom. In the note, she claimed that she no longer wanted to go out with me because I was a “mama’s boy”.
The sting of the breakup cut me so deep that I resigned myself to stay single until the seventh grade.
And while I eventually learned to love again, I never quite got over the “mama’s boy” stigma. Sure I loved my mom, but I wasn’t a “mama’s boy”. I played hockey. I hung out with the guys and played war. I didn’t stay inside coddled by my mommy! I didn’t want to hang out with my mom. She wore nurses’ shoes, had green sunglasses and would totally embarrass me by bringing my lunch to school on the many days I forgot it.
It took me years, almost decades, to truly appreciate my mom and realize what an awesome person she is. I’m not putting down my dad by any stretch. My dad is a good man, raised two good kids (debatable for my brother), was a provider, stayed loyal to my mom and spent a ton of time with my brother and me, coaching baseball and hockey and taking us skiing. He’s a great grandfather and is a source of inspiration for me.
Yet, as great as my dad is, my mom is on another stratosphere. How cool is my mom? Here’s a few facts for you.
She’s funny as heck. Before Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Louis CK would become my comedic role models, there was always my mom. I’ve yet to meet anyone with a dryer sense of humour than her and half the time I can hardly believe the observational comments she makes. They are razor sharp, served with dead pan delivery and funny as hell (though sometimes you are not quite sure if she is joking).
She’s the toughest person I know. I vaguely recall her taking on a group of Hell’s Angels who once stole her parking spot. Ok, maybe that didn’t happen but I could totally picture it and would urge any biker club to steer clear of Mrs. Medland. All kidding aside, my mom has scared many away with her “don’t mess with me” look. A look that I have worked to perfect over the past 20 years.
Her generosity knows no end. My mom loves to give gifts. In fact she is so committed to giving gifts that she has urged me to stop having kids (I have 5 and my brother has 1) so that she can retire one day. Of course, I am pretty sure this is just an excuse as I think she secretly enjoys having been an x-ray technician for the past 50 years.
She sounds pretty cool, eh?
I really hope that in this day and age, the term “mama’s boy” is not thrown around with such abandon that it was when I was growing up. As a boy and as a man, there are far worse things to aspire to be than to be like your mom. When I think of all the times I was too cool to hang out with my mom, I feel a little ashamed and foolish. Luckily, for all the times I acted like a punk, my mom always waited patiently for me to come to my senses.
If I could, I would love to be able to go back in time. I’d meet my 10-year-old self and tell him (me) that his (my) mom is pretty cool and that being a “mama’s boy” is not such a bad thing. But since I lack a DeLorean, a flux capacitator and 1.21 gigawatts, all I can do is write this blog post.
So Happy Mother’s Day, mom. Thank you for all that you have taught me. Thank you for always being there for me. I love you with all of my heart.
And – that’s right, Karen. I’m a “mama’s boy”. And I’m damn proud of it.
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