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I'm your mother, not your friend

There's a commercial on TV right now about Mother's Day, encouraging you to go out and get Mom a card because of all she's done for you, and because of "her lifelong friendship".  I say, "Phooey".

I constantly tell my kids, "I'm not your friend, I'm your mother".  They are going to have a lot of friends in their life, but I get the role of mother.  That's because your friends are not going to tell you, "That is stupid" when you mention that you are thinking of dropping out of school to become a traveling tattoo artist in a Third World country.  Your mom reminds you that you have to do your homework, whereas a friend will just keep the video games rolling.  Mom drags you to church, confession and family dinners, when you'd far rather roll over and go back to sleep.

Mom is also the one who dries the tears of middle school, pays for driver's training, remembers your last tetanus shot and knows how to steam out the wrinkles in your prom dress.  Friends don't do any of that stuff.

I'm happy to laugh with you, shop with you, remember funny stories with you.  I love nothing more than when you climb next to me in bed and share your day with me.  I rejoice in those moments when you pour your heart out to me when I least expect it.  But I'm not your friend.

There are only five people in the whole world that get to call me "Mom" (although I expect to offer that title to their chosen spouses some day).  I'm not giving that title up for some stupid card or sentiment.  Don't get me a "friendship" card.

I'm your mom.

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Crossing Guard

I saw you
today
as you guided
your little man across that busy street.

You were wearing some
big man boots
and
watching cars and lights.

Your little man had on
black sneakers and
a Mickey Mouse hat
that bounced
as he walked.

He wasn't watching nothing but
your big man boots
and
the white stripes of the crosswalk.

Just before
he got to the sidewalk again,
his step bounced a bit
- he hopped over
a spot where the asphalt broke.

You turned to look,
holding out a hand to
your little man.
Not rushed or angry,
just making sure
he got up
on that sidewalk.

Then you walked on,
in your big man boots,
face into a cold Michigan wind,
with the little man behind,
his hat bouncing.