Friday, April 28, 2006

Perfect Attendance

I had perfect attendance most of my K-12 academic career. I think I missed less than 5 days. Most were in third grade, the year I had eye surgery. I didn't miss any in high school. And what did I get for all my hard work? A certificate. That's it. Big deal. Or so I thought.

The certificates were always awarded at a little end-of-the year ceremony. It wasn't anything fancy but mom insisted on coming. She was one of only a few that bothered. Faithfully, she came to them all. I can still see her in my mind's eye sitting in the back of the gym anxiously waiting for one of her children's names to be called so she could applaud. Mom didn't just gently tap her hands together either. She clapped loudly. Loud enough so everyone in the next county knew she was there.

One year a friend asked me, "Why does your mom come to these? They're really nothing special."

I shrugged, "I dunno, nothing better to do I guess."

Nothing better to do? What was I thinking? I mean, what else does a mom with 5 children all within a year of each other have to do with her time?

Never-the-less, she always showed up. And it continued day after day, year after year. She was there to witness my graduation from high school. Graduation from college. My wedding. The birth of my first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth...Mom was there for them all. She always stayed extra days to help out too.

One time, she even came back the next day with a smile after I kicked her out for some dumb reason. (I was severely post partum, 'nuf said!)

She wasn't just there for the momentous but the mundane as well. Doctor's appointments. Small get-a-ways. Laundry day. And yes, dumb awards ceremonies in elementary school.

Perfect attendance.

How I wish I could go back in time and answer my friend's question all over again.

"Why does my mom come to these?

"Because she loves me. That's why."

My certificates for perfect attendance are faded and gone. But the memory of a faithful mother and a lifetime of lessons in motherhood, those I will cherish forever.

Thanks mom, it is you who deserves the award for forty-three years of perfect attendance. I don't have a silly certificate to give you and there is no stage to walk across. But I stand up today and applaud you. Loud enough for everyone in the next county to hear. I am honored to be your daughter. I rise up and call you blessed.

With love.

(Spunky's Note: This is my entry in Heather's Mother's Day writing contest to honor our mothers. The deadline is May 1. Looking for more inspiration? Her comments is full of links to other entries.)

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