Once upon a time there was a princess named Katie Grace. She was with her mom at a rehearsal with a couple of her princess dolls in tow when a lady asked her, “Who’s your favorite princess, Katie Grace?”
Without missing a heartbeat, K.G. gave an answer that melted her mom’s heart, “My favorite Princess is Mommy!” What an appropriate answer!
I asked our youngest Nash grandchild, James David, to tell me why his mom is the best mom in the world. His response, “Because she’s MY mom.” He continued to present his case for BEST MOM by adding, “She drives me places. She hugs me — and she buys food for me.” Those things put her right up there at the top of the list, in the running for Number One Mom, for sure.
The week before Mother’s Day, Grayson’s teacher gave his fourth grade class an assignment to write a note to mom. This is what G wrote to our favorite daughter in law:
“I love you mom, and you are a very good mom, and you are very smart and funny! I also like your cooking and spending time with you. I am sorry I don’t always listen, but thanks for being patient with me. I love you and I love your burps!”
At his age I could have written the exact same note to my mother — well, except for the burps. My daddy was much better when it came to belching than my mother. Still I felt the same way about my mother that K.G., James David and Grayson feel about their moms. I felt with all my heart that she was the best — hands down. My mother has been in heaven for more than a quarter of a century and I still believe she was the best. To Grayson and Anderson, Whitney’s the best. To the Nash kids, Stephanie’s the best. To K.G., Shannon’s the best. To our four adult children, Sammie’s the best — and all of us are correct. To you, hopefully, your mother is the best. And if you’re a mom, hopefully, to your children, you are the world’s best mom.
You don’t have to be perfect to be the best. In fact, if the word “perfect” is uttered or thought — get over it. My mother was the greatest, but she wasn’t perfect. My wife is wonderful, but she isn’t perfect. I am, quite obviously, very proud of my children and grandchildren — but they are not perfect either.
To all the moms out there, if you think your kids are perfect, you are doing them a disservice, and you are deluded, perhaps even delusional. All of us make mistakes; all of us have faults; all of us have done wrong, on purpose, too. My kids, your kids, even my grandchildren — well, they’re still so stinking cute!
The Bible says we should correct our children when they need it. It says nothing about defending them when they are wrong, making excuses for their bad behavior, or ignoring them when they are obnoxious. My mother loved me unconditionally, but she knew I was not perfect, and she never hesitated to remind me when I needed reminding. Occasionally those reminders were accompanied by a switch.
You are already the best mom your children have — but you can be even better if you will hold them to a high standard and encourage them to do better when they do wrong. Surely your kids are good kids, but they are not perfect.
Only one mother had a perfect child. It wasn’t my wife or any of our daughters or our daughter in law. It certainly was not my mother. The mother with the perfect child? Her name was Mary. His name is Jesus.
Steve Playl — columnist and college instructor, retired pastor and chaplain — may be reached at email@example.com.