Not to Lose that Period of TimeA column article, Riding Shotgun by: Don McGregor
FOR MARSHA -
MOTHER DAY – 2012
There are no generic, idealized mothers.
...There are women who love their children without reservation.
I don’t recall ever having any preconception of what a Dad should be.
I don’t believe Marsha ever had any real thoughts on what a Mom should be or do.
But when she gave birth, Rob, our son, became an essential part of her life, and she would not qualify that love, I don’t believe she ever tried to define it.
She loved him without reserve.
When he was first born he had jaundice, and she scarcely trusted her Mom or I to take care of Rob during the night, making sure we woke him up to make sure he took in liquids. Rob would cry in protest, but it had to be done to protect him. These are the kind of things you have no clue about before you are a parent, that there were times when you have the harsh task of having to something that will make them cry to keep them safe.
If she never had any rules about what a mother should be or do, Marsha started before Rob was even born, eating natural foods, learning about breast feeding.
As he grew older, Marsha took Rob and Lauren to the swimming pool, to teach them how to swim and not be afraid of the water.
And as Rob grew older, he’d say to me, mischeiviously, “Watch this, Dad,” when he was about to play some trick on her that I would never, ever think of doing. Rob would smile.
“I can get away with this, Dad. You’d better not do it.” He knew it at a young age, and it was true.
She was his mother.
She would fight for him. She would care for him. She would go out and learn about whatever questions he had that she didn’t have the answers for.
She was his Mom.
She fed and nurtured him.
I include this photo (not seen before) from a photo shoot we did with a woman photographer, Lida Moser.
When we did the photos, it was with the thought not to lose that period of time, but also that our son was a part of our lives, and that breast-feeding was a warm, sustaining part of life, as a mother, and as a couple.
And if Time Magazine can have some grown child on a woman’s breast, well, what the hell, Don McGregor can follow his fictional creations, Sabre and Melissa Siren and preserve that love.
And Marsha gave me a choice of three to use.
I know I’m writing this late on Mother’s Day 2012, but I’m glad I did get it done, because mothers (and fathers) when they care, should not be forgotten.
WHEN I WAS FIVE MY MOM WORRIED
It’s late. 15 minutes past Mother’s Day.
I’m tired, and this Bronchitis and whatever lingers with it has me weary.
I’ve talked with my Mom today, taking the phone away from my mouth when I coughed. You had trouble hearing me with my hoarse voice, Mom, but you seemed to understand what was being said, in a year when there were times I know you couldn’t understand, couldn’t understand what was happening to you, had time slip-stream away from you.
I was five years old and you worried about me.
You worried that we lived on Main Street, and that the one place I would ride my tricycle was in the middle of Main Street when I was told, I’m sure, repeatedly not to.
And you heard car horns and came running out, realizing I had some pulled the great escape and gotten out of the gated, fenced-in yard.
I was exactly where you feared I’d be In the middle of Main Street, stopping up traffic, riding circles on my tricycle.
You worried about the drop-off in the backyard.
You worried about the river churning with color dyes and poisons from the Mill that dominated the street.
You worried about the train tracks that were high above the water where it was wide and shallow, and rushed white-water over smooth stones.
You were right worry. I lived in a world of Republic Serials, and The Mysterious Dr. Satan, and comic books and Hopalong Cassidy, and all of it was as real to me as the real world. At five, what do you know about what motivates you. You know only that you love these things and they are as real to you and anything else you know and have experienced. And you want to live them and have it be real.
You had real reason to worry.
I know you’ll never read this, but you’re my Mom, and today I wanted to write you.
We talked, and you’ll know of that, but you’ll never know of this, never know you had all those things to worry about and more. I’ll never tell you about all those other things, though.
It used to make you uncomfortable, saying “I love you.”
And I realized, when I got older, I said it for myself, and you said to me every time I drove back to Rhode Island from New York and made me your apply pie, or strawberry rhubarb pie, or lemon pie. Dad and Scotty would say, “She only makes pies when you come home.”
And I laughed and told them, “Then you guys better be glad I come home.”
We never saw what the past year could be Mom.
You never really can tell where life is going to go.
I told you I’d make sure what you wanted was what would happen, but who knew there were times you wouldn’t know, and couldn’t express, what you wanted.
You’ll never read these words, and that’s fine, because you know this is so, no matter what else happens:
I love you, Mom.
Don McGregor is the writer of Killraven, Black Panther, Nathaniel Dusk and a slew of other classic comic books. Order a copy of The Variable Syndrome and other books and comics by Don from his website or his outstanding Detectives, Inc. at Amazon.