This article was originally published in Hometown Journey Magazine.
Each May in our nation we celebrate mothers, and I have plenty of reason to participate.
My mom is Carol Porter. She moved into the Barbers Hill community with her family as an elementary school student. She’s been married to Rodney, my dad, for 37 years, and she’s been a teacher for with BHISD for the last 34 years. Thirty-one years ago she became my mom.
One of my earliest memories of my mom is of her putting me in a child’s seat on the back of her bicycle and riding me down to the park in the Cherry Point subdivision. I’m pretty sure the government has long since outlawed those little seats. That’s too bad, because I sure had fun.
I can remember her putting me in a suit for church one Easter Sunday morning, allowing me to wear a Superman shirt underneath my dress shirt. No telling how many hours she and my dad watched my magic shows full tricks they taught me to do, and yet they always acted astounded and awed after every trick.
In Kindergarten, I picked some very tall weeds from the lot where my parents were building a house. Convinced that the weeds were actually wheat, I took them to my mom and told her we should bake bread. Did you know somehow my mom was able to turn those weeds into a loaf of bread?
When I was in the first grade, a classmate made fun of me for the type of tennis shoes I had on. They were brand new shoes, and looking back I know they were nice and certainly not cheap. I was very upset, though, and cried on our way home from school. She turned the car around and took me to the mall to buy a new pair of shoes that I didn’t really need.
My dad tells the story that when I was an infant and they took me to the doctor for a check up, the doctor chided my young, new mother with the admonition, “Look, lady, babies have to live in your world, you can’t live in theirs.” My mom had some choice words for him and found another doctor.
She stuck with that philosophy of parenting though the years. My mom not only allowed me to have my own little world of make believe, but she entered into it with me. She met me there and made it better. I could be Superman, do magic, and turn weeds into bread. When I was hurt, she was hurt and made it better. She served me well as a mom.
Whether she knew it or not, she was modeling the love of the Savior, who left his throne, condescending to us, entering our world. He didn’t just leave us alone, but he came and lived and loved and sacrificed to make it better. He shared in our sorrows and took up our sins so that by his wounds we are healed.
All these years later, my mom is still in my life, joining in with me and blessing me with love. I cannot think of another woman on the planet I’d rather have as my mother, and I can honestly say I’ve never felt otherwise. I would not be the man, the Christian, or the pastor that I am without her.
She didn’t do everything perfectly, and she’ll be the first to admit that. At least annually she’ll rehearse the story of when I was in the sixth grade and she left me at home with the flu to take care of myself. When she later caught it and realized how badly she felt, she was horrified that she had left me alone. I do the best I can to assuage her guilt. (Mom, I’m fine! I promise!)
No, my mom didn’t do everything right all the time. But I am so grateful that she did not let that keep her from being the best mom she could be. Motivated by love, she prayed for us every day and worked hard at serving, teaching, giving, laughing, playing, correcting, supporting, and cheering on my sister and me. And she still does.
Mom, I love you. Thank you.