The Shield That Guards The Realms Of Men


I take issue with Mother’s Day.

It’s not what you think, though.

It’s not any sort of strange rivalry or antagonism between the Mamas and the Papas that the marketing department seems to thing exists.

It’s not because it’s a holiday invented by a greeting card company. Valid point, though.

It’s not even because I forgot. Which I didn’t. This year.

It’s just…a day? Really? A day for mothers? I know I’m not the first to say this, but I really think we can do better than a day. A season? Maybe something in there between Fall and Winter? Probably tough to get that one off the ground. Unless you’re in North Korea, where anything goes.

Never thought I’d wish to be in North Korea.

How about a week, then? Could we do a week? Carnivale gets a week, and that’s Brazil. With our infrastructure we really should be able to swing a Mother’s Week. It doesn’t have to be anything wild, even. We don’t need all the masks and beads and revelry. I’m just thinking take-out and Netflix. Some foot rubs, maybe.

It’s been well established all the things that mothers do for us, that they sacrifice for us – there’s the whole gestation thing, the actual physical transformation, the nursing the nurturing, the lifetime of worry – all for nothing more than the guaranteed knowledge that they’ll be resented later in life.

But there’s another critical aspect to the motherhood and society that nobody talks enough about. Mothers are all that stand between us and total Cormack-McCarthy-level anarchy.

Imagine all the bad people in the world doing their shady doings.  It’s a lot, right? But now imagine all the shady doings that don’t get done. All the pillaging and skullduggery that could be visited upon you right now as you read this, except for the work of mothers. Every person in your general vicinity who is not robbing or bludgeoning you? That’s cuz their mommas raised them right.

And that one jerk who is robbing and bludgeoning you? Do you think he’d be making the choices he is if his mom was watching? Imagine the kind of world it could be if every crooked banker, every bought politician, every schmuck who messes up your order at the drive thru had to go about their filthy business with their moms in the room.

There is a beast in all of us. A feral, savage thing that knows only hunger and fear, that has no empathy or compassion or mercy. And the only thing that keeps this creature caged, that stops it from filling our bodies and drinking someone else’s syrup right out of the bottle in the store in the middle of the aisle while the world looks on aghast, is maternal vigilance.

If you ask me, it’s not the Night’s Watch who stands on the wall, who faces the terrors that fill the night. It’s mom up there.

And we’re just going to give her a day? I take issue with that.


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