Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Mother (as in maternal parent) (04/24/08)
TITLE: Outside The Rose-Colored Mom BOX
By LauraLee Shaw
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I can’t seem to find a single Mother’s Day card for my mom.
What kind of card do you pick for a mom who can’t stand long enough to cook—for one who’s in chronic pain every single day?
What verse is there for a mom who looks to her teenager for comfort instead of the reverse?
Do you have just a little something that says, “I love you, Mom” which doesn’t define the word ‘love’ as bear hugs and butterly kisses?
Because…I’m thinking if you need a little help writing your cards—well—maybe I could be the one. Sure, there’s always the good old blank card, but even a mom with special needs like mine needs to know that there’s a card out there written just for her. Even she wants to feel treasured on Mother’s Day.
You see, written on the insecurities of her heart is the feeling that she doesn’t stack up as a Mom. She looks at others and asks herself, Why can’t I drive the cheerleading team to the competition? Why can’t I be the chaperone for the Prom? Why can’t I be the neighborhood Mom that everyone comes to for advice with their struggles?
You could really make some money, you know, if you would just see that not every mom fits inside the ‘warm and fuzzy’ box you’ve so beautifully bordered with tulips and pansies.
Not every mom has a husband who adores her. Mine had a husband who beat her instead. Not every mom is her child’s taxi driver. My mom can barely drive without getting into an accident (she shouldn’t even have a license, for goodness’ sake). Not every mom can comfort her hormonal, emotional daughter. Mine might just end up in the psychiatric ward if I fall apart.
Please know that I’m not complaining—I’ve learned not to complain. It doesn’t make the problems go away. It makes them bigger actually.
Here’s my qualifications if you need a teenager who can help you write outside the rose-colored Mom box:
* I’ve been the Editor of my high school newspaper for two years.
* I’ve been writing poems as long as I can remember.
* There isn’t a whole lot of anything I haven’t seen or experienced outside the realms of a normal childhood (whatever that is).
* I write about my mom’s experiences as an accident and abuse victim on a regular basis, recording her behaviors and emotions.
* I also spend a whole lot of time noticing that not every mother who appears to be “normal” is what she seems. I can kind of see people that way.
I don’t know. I guess if I were to write a greeting card especially for my mother, I could do a better job than anybody. Maybe I should just do that. Because I know you get a lot of letters. This will probably just end up on the bottom of the pile if it doesn’t get chunked the minute you read the first line.
So Greeting Card Editor, though you may or may not be listening, here’s a card suggestion for a mother like mine:
On the front it would have no borders. Simply a splattering of heart shapes sprinkled randomly around the outside of a basic black box on the bottom right-hand corner of the page. On the top left, flowing down diagonally, it would read, “Happy Mother’s Day to a Mom Outside the Box…”
In large, bold font inside the card would read the verse that would hopefully take away her pain and sorrows even if just for a moment, and perhaps even cause her frowning lips to smile for a change.
While others are busy trying to be strong,
You’re on your knees where you belong.
When many are too busy bustling to notice a stranger,
You stop and share the One born in a manger.
God knew when He made you,
That you would make a difference that no other mom could make.
How? By making you MY mom.
And I would never trade you for another,
for you’re the perfect mom for me.”
My only regret, Greeting Card Editor, is that I waited to send this letter until I was a grown woman with three children of my own. I pray it will make a difference in some teenager’s life—someone with a “special” Mama like mine.
Krista L. Roberts
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