Our Mothers Guide Our World

As a thirteen year-old, one Saturday I was playing third base for a grammar school baseball team.  In the third inning there’s a runner on first base, and the batter lines one into right field, so the runner takes off, rounding second, heading for me at third base.

Our right fielder throws the ball, and it comes right into my glove on one hop, about ten feet ahead of the runner.  But unfortunately, as I reach down, glove in hand, ready to make the tag, the runner starts his slide when he’s almost on top of me.  As a result, he stiff-leg crashes into me, breaking my left arm over my left leg.

I pick my arm up, and I see that it’s split in half, my left hand sticking straight up in the air.  In fright or on instinct,  I whack my split left arm with my right hand, and it snaps back into place.

Coach says “You better go home.”   No kidding.

I bike myself back home, head into the house, right into the kitchen, where in those days Mom seemed to spend most of her life.  She’s at the sink.

I say to her, “Mom, I broke my arm.”

Does she get upset?  No.  She says, “Let me see.”

I hold my arm up, and she says, “It doesn’t look broken to me.”

I explain what happened, and her retort is, “No, you didn’t break your arm.  You just think you did.”  (In other words, hey kid, I haven’t got time for what you think you did, I’ve got dinner to make.)

And then the magic words.  No matter what happened to me – falling off the jungle bars, falling off my bike and whacking my head on the curb – no matter what, she again issues her magic words: “Sit down and eat something.  You’ll feel better.”

I sit down at the kitchen table.  Out comes the ever present bowl of tuna fish, out comes the bread, out comes the milk.  She makes a sandwich and puts it on a dish in front of me.  I of course eat the sandwich, using my one good hand.

She then says, “Now, do you feel better?”

I say, “Yes.”

She says, “Good.  Take your basketball and go out and play.”

I remember standing in front of the garage, tossing the ball up at the hoop, thinking, ‘This is dumb.  I’ve got a broken arm.’

The next day?  Ho-ho.  My arm was as big as an elephant’s trunk, and Mom hustles me down to the doctor.

My mom?  Still, and always will be,  my idol.

One Thought on “Our Mothers Guide Our World

  1. Dear Sam: I enjoyed your story and guess what, your mom is just like MY mom! I swear. When I was 7 and riding my bike around the street beside our house, my tire seemed flat. So i went in and got my mom to come out and take a look. She said, Seems fine to me. So i went on riding, made a tight turn in the slippery gutter and went over with a splash in the mud. My glasses (I wore them from 1st to 6th grade) broke and poked a hole in my forehead just at the corner of my eye. I bled so much Mom had to take me to get stitches. And i now have a scar to remind me always. And then there was the time i got a nail in my sneaker… it was the way you describe it, unflappable Mom… and i do my best to follow her lead whenever life throws me a curve ball.

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