Calling For Mother

“Mom, Mom, Mom, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mama, Mama, Mama, Ma, Ma”

That’s one of Sally’s ringtones on her phone that she sometimes uses notifying her that our son, Jon, is calling her. It is voiced in the character of Stewie Gilligan Griffin, son of Peter and Lois Griffin of the television show “Family Guy.” “Family Guy” is not a program that is part of our personal or preferred viewing lineup, but Stewie’s summoning of his mother might be the telling words of the celebration of Mother’s Day today.

As someone who has lived with two mothers in my life, my own mother, Mary, and the mother of my children, Sally, I have probably uttered callings to my mom and heard some form of Stewie’s plea for his mother’s attention travel from my children to Sally for any number of reasons or crises that only a mother could resolve.

There is a game we played as kids called 20 questions. To a mother in their life it’s probably more like 20 million questions. How many mothers and moms have heard any or all of these questions fired at them in their role as family matriarch?

“Mommy what’s for dinner?” “Mom, we got anything to eat?” “Ma, where is my blue sweatshirt?” “Mama, can you drive all the kids to practice tomorrow?” “Ma, will you help me with my homework?” “Mom, where are my baseball spikes?” “Mommy, can I ride the horsie ride for a quarter?” (It was a dime in my day. Today, I think it actually costs a dollar, maybe more.) “Mom, can I go to the movies?” “Mom, I need money for a field trip at school. Can you please give it to me?” “Mama, can I have an advance on my allowance?” “Ma, do I have to eat these green things on my plate?” “Mommy, can I have that toy please? Please, mommy can I?” “Mommy, can I eat my ice cream first?” “Mom, can you get me a new shirt for the homecoming dance?” “Ma, can you sell these candy bars or candles or cookies or pizzas or wrapping paper or raffle tickets or catalogue merchandise for this, that, or the other school sports or club fundraiser for me?” “Momma, can I have the new video game that just came on the market?” “Mom, can I get the new smart phone that just came out?” “Ma, why can’t I go to the party?” “Mom, can I go out on a date with(enter name)?” “Mom, can I get a tattoo? “Momma, can you write me a note so I don’t have to play gym tomorrow?” “Mama, can I stay up an extra half hour tonight?” “Mom, can I get a new bike?” “Ma, can you sew this button back on my shirt?” “Momma, can I get my ears pierced?” “Mom, can you send me and my roommates some cookies at college?” “Mommy, can I have a piece of candy?” “Mommy, can we get a puppy?” “Ma, Jimmy is making fun of me. Can you yell at him?” “Mom, can I go to the concert?” Ma, would you chaperone the field trip or dance or club trip?” “Mom, will you be the coach of our soccer team?” “Mommy, can my friend spend the night?” “Ma, can I use the car tonight?” “Mom, can I spend the night at(enter name)house?” “Mom, will you sign my report card or my progress report or my field trip permission slip?” “Ma, we got any soda?” “Mommy, can I have a hamster?” “Ma, why do I have to get a haircut?” “Mom, can I borrow your pink sweater?” “Ma, how come Billy can stay out until 10 but I have to be home at 9?” “Mom, why do these things keep happening to me?” “Mom, can we go to the mall?” “Ma, can we get pizza for dinner?” “Mom, can you talk to the coach or my teacher or the principal for me?” “Mama, can I stay out all night on prom night?” “Mommy, can I get a kitty? “Mommy, can I have a popsicle?” “Mom, will you buy me those boots or shoes I like?” “Mama, can we get the new X Box or Nintendo system?” “Mom, do you think Dad will be mad because I broke the window?” “Mom, do you think Dad will be mad because I dented the car?” “Ma, why do I have to clean my room?” “Mommy, can I have some more cookies?” “Mom, can I have a party?” “Mom, why can’t I have that?” “Ma, can you drive me there?” “Mom, can you pick me up?” “Mom, did you wash my jeans?” “Ma, is dinner ready yet? “Mama, I forgot my homework on the dining room table or my gym clothes or my practice uniform. Can you bring it to me?” “Mom, can I go to (enter name) house after school?” “Ma, can I go to McDonald’s for lunch on in service afternoon next week?” “Mom, can you buy me an iPad?” “Ma, can I color my hair blonde?” “Mommy, would you read me a story?” “Mom, why do I have to go to my cousin’s wedding?” “Mom, why don’t I get to do what my friends get to do?” “Ma, did you pick up that gift for the party I’m going to?” Mom, will you take me out to practice driving?” “Mom, can I get a car?” “Ma, we got any Twinkies?” “Mom, how come you never buy the chips or cookies or candy or snacks that I like?” “Mom, how come you like my brother (or sister) better than me?” “Mom, can I do anything for you?” (I threw that last question in because that one makes all the other ones much easier to handle.)

These are only a sampling of some of the questions that mothers, moms, mommies, mamas and mas have to deal with in their role as a caregiver and matron of their family. If they got a nickel for every question they had to answer or contend with, they’d all be very wealthy women and that is why we need to honor all of them today, but not just today.

There was an old television program on daytime TV back when I was growing up. It was called “Queen for a Day,” hosted by Jack Bailey, where women competed by being interviewed for the chance of being named winner by audience applause and be honored with the title of queen for that day. Then, they’d be adorned with a crown, robe and throne and awarded several prizes. Mother’s Day is kind of like choosing moms to be queen for a day, but in reality they should be honored as queens for every day, especially with all of the work they do, the unconditional love and care they give, the decisions they have to make and the questions they have to answer. I know my wife and my mom are co-queens of my lifetime for all they’ve done for me, my family and their world.

So, happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, moms, mommies, mamas, and mas, biological, step and foster, and all grandmas and godmothers, those still with us and those who have gone on to watch over us from above, especially my mother, Mary, and mother-in-law, Esther, both up above, looking over us every day. And happy Mother’s Day to my wife, Sally, my daughters, Chasity and Christina, my sisters, my nieces, my aunts, my cousins and my friends. You’re all queens for all time on earth and infinity.

And, oh yeah, just so the dads don’t feel unimportant or left out, they get questions too, but the one they seem to have to answer most often is usually “Hey Dad, where’s Mom?”