Some women declare that everything they knew about motherhood was learned from their grandmother, their mother or even Great Aunt Rosie. I give credit where it is due and those women certainly played a big part in what I know about motherhood. But most of what I've learned was while driving down a little state highway from Bells to Whitewright, Texas almost fifty years ago.
To begin with, the highway hadn't been resurfaced since my Grandpa was still a carpenter and he'd been retired for a long time. The road was like motherhood. There were days when I'd think I was going to get through the present phase in my kids' lives without a hitch and then I'd fall right into a hole big enough to swallow an army tank. So much for thinking that one good day meant another would follow.
The highway is a two lane road, one lane for going and one for coming back from Grandpa's house. When you become a mother, they don't let you go back to the delivery room if you don't have a current driver's license. And if they ask you to spell mother, you say T-A-X-I. There will be times when you'll be going down one lane of the highway and times when you are coming back on the other side of the road but from the time you hear that baby's first cry and you are a mother, you will never be sitting still again.
Sometimes you'll be traveling along with older cars that can't go more than 35 MPH and sometimes you're doing good to keep up with the little sports cars trying to make a seven mile straight stretch in two minutes. They're all going to the same place, right along with you. That old model with the tail fins will get to the PTA meeting just as surely as the brand new red sports car with a spoiler on the back end. The meeting doesn't even start until seven thirty and there's always plenty of doughnuts and coffee.
The scenery is always changing. At times the front yard is freshly mowed and the flowers are blooming. Other times it's full of dandelions and the flower beds need to have the weeds pulled up. Just like those children that made you a mother--they eventually get past the pull-up stage and to the school age stage but it still takes constant work to keep the bad things out of their lives.
Before you can turn around, they're to the driving stage and then the dating stage, the cutting-the-apron-strings stage and hopefully that long awaited responsible adult stage. But just because they've graduated from each stage and made you proud, does not mean you are finished because once you became a mother, you're always a mother. It doesn't matter if you are the mother of the multi-billionaire computer soft ware genius or of a ditch digger, you are still a mother.
See that crossroads over there that says you can go to Savoy one way or Ida the other? There's lots of times like that in motherhood. Sometimes we actually brake and think about where that road might lead or where the kids might be today if we'd chosen to take a different road. But rest assured, the journey will end where it's supposed to and neither of those roads would take us to grandpa's house where he always gave me the best advice.
And take a look at that 1948 John Deere tractor sitting out there in the pasture with weeds growing up around it. It's not sitting there because it is useless. No, ma'am. Do not make the mistake of underestimating it. It's just resting a spell. It has plowed more fields, cut more corners and knows more about life than any of those new fangled models that keep breaking down every time they hit a hard spot in the road. It might not be air conditioned or have that fancy radio stuff in it. The green paint might have rust spots, but honey, if you put some fuel in it and start it up, it'll prove it's got a lot of get up and go left in it.
As you travel down the roads of life remember to stop and smell the flowers this Mother's Day! And maybe even pick a bouquet of yard roses for your mother.
Happy Mothers Day to all mothers out there from this old 1948 tractor.