Mother's Day, I must confess, has sort of snuck up on me this year. Didn't it used to be later in the month? Is it May already?
Fortunately, I remembered in time to write this column. Even more importantly, since my deadline was Wednesday, I remembered in time to do some shopping.
That's because, at my house, we make a big deal out of Mother's Day. I know some people think it's over-hyped, but personally, I don't think it's hyped enough.
I mean, so what if it was invented by the florists and greeting card companies? Everybody gets something right occasionally. Mother's Day helps make up for Podiatrist's Day and National Hog Farmers Week.
In fact, Mother's Day should really be one of our great national holidays, right behind Christmas and Easter and ahead of Fourth of July and the "Dancing with the Stars" finale.
Because, without moms, none of us would be here — literally. So I hope you'll bear with me while I make a few observations about mothers, based on my own experiences with the moms in my life.
Observation No. 1: Moms invented multi-tasking. One question I've learned not to ask at our house is, "So, honey, what have you got going on tomorrow?" I don't want to know. I get a headache just thinking about it.
Suffice it to say that anytime I need someone to do eight loads of laundry, run four kids to six activities, cook three meals, volunteer at the school, plant a flower bed, sew new drapes and persuade the neighbors that the boys really didn't mean any harm and so they shouldn't press charges — all in a single 12-hour day — I'm going straight to a mom.
Observation No. 2: Moms always know when you're lying. Remember when you were a teenager? You could lie to your dad. Dads are gullible and probably aren't paying attention, anyway.
But mom would look you straight in the eye and say, "Uh-huh," in a deadpan voice that you knew meant, in mom-speak, "You are such a liar." And then you'd spill your guts, telling her everything. Things that weren't even related to the current situation. Things you did when you were 7. And she'd just nod and say, "I know."
Observation No. 3: Moms listen. Dads listen, too, as long as it's during a commercial.
Observation No. 4: Moms forgive. Dad might hold a grudge, but not mom. We've all seen those old movies where the son does something to disgrace the family name, and the father declares melodramatically, "I have no son." You'd never hear a mom say something like that, unless she discovered you'd been wearing the same underwear all week.
So do something nice for your mom today. After all, you might not get another chance until next year.
Unless, of course, she happens to be a podiatrist or a hog farmer.
Rob Jenkins is an associate professor of English and director of The Writers Institute at Georgia Perimeter College. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.