My wife, the lovely and talented Green-Eyed Siren, is one of the most creative people I know, and our children have received so much of her spark. Unfocused Girl had a big solo during the Mother’s Day children’s choir performance at their church this morning, and she clearly inherited the Siren’s voice and her picked up the seriousness with which the Siren approaches a performance. Junior is a ham in front of the camera and is exceptionally good for his age at building this with his hands. Neither of them could have gotten those talents from me, but more important than the genetic transmission of some innate ability is that she’s teaching them how to use those talents, both by teaching them directly and by example. They’re also pretty nice people, which I have to believe has something to do with the person they spend the most time with. So happy Mother’s Day, Siren, you’ve earned it, through hours and hours of driving the kids to and from school, the gallons of chicken barley stew you’ve made for Unfocused Girl’s lunch, the dozens of different things you’ve made in attempts to get Junior to eat something recognizable as food, not to mention two C-sections, thousands of diaper changes, potty training, midnight vomiting, and Junior screaming in your left ear for hours on end. The one thing I can tell you is that the kids know how lucky they are, and so do I.
And happy Mother’s Day to my own mother. I know I was a smartass and probably not always the easiest kid to deal with, but the Siren thinks you did a pretty good job and I certainly never had any complaints. One specific thing I can point to that you and Dad did right — so I guess you’ll have to share the credit on this — is that after your divorce, however tense things got between you, and I assume there were times when they did, I never really knew about it. Maybe once in a long while I picked up on a tone of voice from one of you that seemed off, but that was it, and hardly that. Neither of you ever spoke ill of the other in front of me, and I don’t remember witnessing any significant arguments. As far as I know, you always treated each other respectfully and, most of the time, seemed genuinely friendly. I’ve seen a lot worse, especially since I graduated law school, and I know how lucky I was. Thank you.