When I was in the fourth grade, I think it was, at Saint Matthias Catholic School in Youngstown, I was over-the-moon excited to be chosen as one of my class representatives in the school’s annual speech contest.
Every year, a certain number of students were selected to write an essay / speech that forced us to reflect on the importance of the fundamentals of grammar. You know, er, idioms and uh, discourse, um, dialogues and important stuff like that. A’ight?
Yes, I did earn a Master’s Certificate in Professional Writing and Editing, what’s your point? Hmpf.
Every year, there were a great many of us who took the speech contest quite seriously.
As for me, I always relied on my go-to gal for help in creating and perfecting my annual little monologue: Mom.
One year in particular, Mom picked a real winner for me to focus on: “When God Created Mothers,” by Erma Bombeck. Oh, how I LOVE Erma Bombeck — probs because me Mum does.
Then again, who wouldn’t love a woman who came up with such clever quips as, “Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.”
The gist of the “When God Created Mothers” piece is that God is in the process of making the model for moms and this pesky angel keeps bombarding Him with questions. The little cherub keeps hovering around and hounding Him by pointing out all her “defects.”
The Almighty explains that a mother must have “180 moveable parts, all replaceable. She must be able to run on black coffee and leftovers; have a lap that disappears when she stands up; a kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair; and six pair of hands.”
Anyway, my ma went over and over this speech with me for weeks, no lie.
She showed me which hand gestures to make, which facial expressions to display, and even what tone each segment should reveal to achieve the most emphasis to really pack a wallop!
It was brilliant, just like my mother.
So, there I stood, more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. You know, I never really understood that phrase — are rocking chairs and felines natural enemies?
I was as jumpy as could be when they pulled back that red velvet curtain and I had to begin my monologue. Especially when so many of my classmates (Colleen and David, especially) seemed to be doing so much better than old PK … back then, PM.
But when I looked out into the audience and saw Mom smiling and waving, I just knew I’d get through it intact.
If I remember correctly, I might’ve even placed in my age category? If I’m not remembering correctly apologies to the gal who did.
Either way, today and everyday you’re da bomb dot com, Mama. I love you more than chocolate itself! (Inside joke between Ma and moi.)
Happy Mother’s Day, all!
Kimerer is also the very proud mom of one absolutely perfect son, Kyle Donald. Love you, kiddo! You can echo her mushiness for her Mom and kid back to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.