An Ode to My Mom in the Trenches

The clanking of pots and pans has awoken me more times than I can count at my parents’ house. It was always my mother, up before dawn unloading the dishwasher from the night before, preparing the kitchen to cook breakfast for everyone else who was still curled up in our comfy beds.

Over the years, we have given her a lot of grief over the noise she made as our pot and pan alarm clock.

Perhaps it took becoming a mother myself to realize what we missed. She was up at the crack of dawn working while the rest of us lazy brats laid snuggled in our blankets.

She could have pointed this out, made clear how much harder she works than everyone else, and told us that rather than harassing her, we might consider saying “thank you.”

But she never did. She would just grin and giggle at our complaints and go right on about her day.

This is but one of many examples of the quiet sacrifices my mom has made. She has spent her life in the trenches taking grenades so the rest of us could shine.

She has walked show pigs countless miles, and we won the banners. She has ironed thousands of pairs of jeans and we stood in front of the cameras. She proofread the papers and we got the A’s.

She worked a full-time job, shuffled my brother and I between 4-H and basketball and Honor Society and piano lessons. And every night she had a home cooked meal on the table, and clean clothes in our drawers.

We would roll our eyes when she told us for the thousandth time we needed to drive slower, drink more water, and eat more vegetables. All of which were true, no doubt. We would grumble about the annoying songs she would sing every morning, not realizing she was certainly more tired than we were. We mocked her when she tried to keep us alive and away from a pissed off cow by forcefully announcing, “We are going home!” And we laughed when working sheep she declared if anyone yelled at her again she was going to the mall, not realizing that we all three were probably needlessly biting her head off.

Today, I am more aware of and thankful for her silent grenade-taking than ever before. We couldn’t have survived the battles without her.

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