Sunday, May 11, 2014


Dear Mom:
            The earliest reference I find to Mother’s Day is 250 B.C., when a Roman religious festival honoring the Mother Goddess Cybele was held.  It lasted for three days, and was known as “Hilaria.”
            I’d wish you a Happy Hilaria, but let’s not provoke that look … the one I called “the hairy eyeball,” … the one you leveled in my direction whenever I acted up.  However, I do blame you for helping to set me upon this path.
            How do I love and link to thee?  Let us count the ways and means:
            ---  For taking untold hours to make my Good King Wenceslas costume for an elementary school Christmas play, only to have your terrified, speechless monarch outrun his cues and exit stage right, leaving the Feast Of Stephen uneaten and the peasants rolling in the aisles.
            ---  For not suffering an apoplectic fit (at least in my presence) when you came out to the clothesline, looked up and saw me sitting thirty feet above you on the end of the barn roof, straddling the peak and holding an open umbrella.
            ---  For making me believe that the square bowl and asymmetrical bookends I created in woodshop and bestowed upon you as Hilarian tributes were the maternal keepsake equivalents of Stradavarians.
            ---  For holding the bucket when I overdosed on Hostess Snowballs.
            ---  For not complaining about the laundry or calling me a meathead when I was convinced I’d broken my foot in a fall and hobbled around the house with a stick crutch, doing my best wounded Long John Silver impression and insisting upon wearing six colored socks secured with your nylon stocking in a simulated peg-leg.
            ---  For not laughing out loud when I announced that I wanted to be the first astronaut to juggle bowling pins in zero gravity.
            ---  For not crying out loud when I rehearsed this by juggling the good china in earth gravity.
            ---  For helping me get through the Great Pet Massacre, when the family dog got into the barn and chewed all my pet rabbits into furblivion.
            ---  For not selling me to Gypsies (I always believed this was a parental option Plan B) when you found out I’d been emptying Dad’s electric razor into the peppershaker.
          ---  For mending the fences, tending the fires, warming the cockles, baking the biscuits, planting the seeds, running the gauntlets, burying the bones, sewing the buttons, paying the pipers, fluffing the pillows, minding the P’s and Q’s ... and helping me become what I am today.
            Uh-oh.  Here comes that look again.
            Happy Hilaria, Mom.

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Senior Wire News Service syndicated humor columnist B. Elwin Sherman writes from Bethlehem, NH. His new book, “Walk Tall And Carry A Big Watering Can,” is now available.  You may contact him via his blog here at Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Used here with permission.
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