Mother’s Day is a special time of year around the Jones household.
Most years it involves me scrambling around the house trying to find the gift I bought the month before, finding a way to sneak my kids away from Mom so they can make homemade cards, last-minute phone calls to restaurants that are all overbooked and usually ending with a low-key Mother’s Day celebration at our favorite neighborhood Mexican restaurant.
Somehow through all of this my wife, Lindsey, manages to show appreciation with style and grace.
I have looked high and low and have yet to find a manual out there with instructions on how to be a good mother. Sure, there’s plenty of stuff about childbirth, potty training and first aid for those mothers of little boys. But no one really prepares them for being the bearer of rocks and feathers that your child insists on bringing home, removing permanent marker ink off of a dog (or a little brother) or trying to find a tree frog that somehow has gotten loose in the house.
It takes a pretty special person to be a mom. I still to this day haven’t figured out how Lindsey manages to keep our house from burning down, makes sure our kids are fed and still finds time to look amazing.
There’s no special prize for raising a family. Nobody comes to the door when your kids turn 18 with a check, balloons and a banner reading: “You did it.” It’s a lifetime commitment that rewards you a little bit at a time — eventually resulting in turning that little baby boy or girl into an amazing man or woman.
Mother’s Day makes me think of our electric co-ops and how they were “born.” Someone had to coax them into life, and often it was just one person trying to get their friends and neighbors to put $5 down to get one light bulb, refrigerator or dairy cow milker to run off of electricity. Others took the co-op through its awkward teenage stage. Through years of nurturing and growing, our cooperatives are now “adults” every member-owner should be proud of.
I lost my mom when I was just a boy, but I know she would be proud of the man I have become, just like Lindsey is going to be proud of Max and Charlie and just like your co-ops are proud to see every single member succeed.
This Mother’s Day, let’s thank our mothers. The pay may not be so great … but the benefits are amazing.
Caleb is the executive vice president and CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives and a member of Boone Electric Cooperative.