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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Kent Bush: Good moms make life better for everyone

  • No son was ever spoiled by his mother more than I was
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  • I think we all understand why Mother’s Day is important.
    Mothers go through incredible sacrifices for their children from the time they are conceived until long after they are out of the house.
    I know one major league baseball player who wishes his mom would have been in the clubhouse last week when he went to make himself a sandwich.
    San Francisco pitcher Matt Cain was trying to cut his ham and cheese sandwich into “fancy triangles” when he dropped the knife. When he went to catch the falling knife, he cut his finger and had to be placed on the injured reserve list.
    I know if Cain’s mother had been in the clubhouse, he would be fine. She obviously made him a lot of sandwiches. After all, any grown man that still eats a sandwich cut into little triangles must have had a great mother.
    I know every time I go to fix a meal for my boys, I hate the fact that their mother spoils them rotten. Listening to Blake and Dawit order a simple breakfast before church can bring back memories of Meg Ryan ordering a salad in “When Harry Met Sally.”
    But I have little room to talk. No son was ever spoiled by his mother more than I was.
    I remember being 16 and going on a trip with our church youth group to an amusement park. We were good kids but we liked to have a little fun, too. After we convinced one young lady that she was going to be fired because we were with park quality control, we moved on to bigger game. (We did let her off the hook and thankfully, she thought it was funny.)
    After the human relations humor, we went on to more fun and games – literally. There was this great game that you used a hammer to catapult a floppy rubber frog into floating lily pads to win prizes. Not surprisingly to anyone who has ever watched my competitive fire burn at carnivals and amusement parks, I won.
    But instead of a stuffed prize like everyone else won, I began to negotiate a better deal. I wanted a rubber frog of my own. I tried to bet the attendant that I could make two, three, even five in a row to win a worthless prize but they swore they couldn’t relinquish one of the game pieces.
    We finally reached an agreement where is I won again, I received one of the worn out frogs. Needless to say, I left that day with a ripped up rubber frog in my pocket.
    I was proud of that frog. Of course, it was representative of the spoils of victory. But it was also unattainable for anyone unwilling to negotiate with a game attendant to the point of exasperation.
    Page 2 of 2 - So when I got home, I did surgery on the frog. I took plastic worms from my fishing tackle box and melted them into the rips, tears and holes the frog had gained as battle scars over the summer.
    Then, I found myself needing my mother. Mom can sew. I don’t mean reattach a button. She can take a piece of fabric and make clothes. So I gave her a challenge. I wanted clothes for my frog.
    It was like making doll clothes, but for an ironic symbol of frivolity that would hang from the rearview mirror of my dark green (almost frog-colored) 1978 Plymouth Fury.
    Being a mother, she didn’t laugh at me and tell me to get out of her kitchen. She sat down at the sewing machine and made a lovely Hawaiian shirt and short combo for the frog.
    It was a great moment.
    Another ironic part of my relationship with my mother is that she had to type all of my papers through college. I took typing one summer but it didn’t take. At the time, computers weren’t a big part of life. So knowing how to type meant you had to do your own work.
    Mom typed fast and mistake free. I did not. So I can’t count the number of times she took page after page of chicken scratch and made it look great.
    As a guy who writes about 25,000 words per month for publication using the amazing claw technique with two fingers and a thumb from each hand, thinking that my mother had to put up with that throughout high school and college is a little embarrassing.
    But that is what good mothers do. They connect the dots and fill in the gaps to make everything better for everyone in their lives.
    That’s why you better do something for your mother before Sunday. She deserves it.
    Bush is the publisher of the Butler County Times Gazette and can be reached at: kbush@butlercountytimesgazette.com
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