The following is a short story that I wrote dedicated to all mothers who are students, mothers of students and mothers who are teachers. Happy Mother’s Day!
One day a boy asked his mother, “Mom, why do you have lines and wrinkles on your face?”
A blonde lock of hair fell from the tangled nest on the top of his head lazily over one eye as he innocently asked, “Why do you look so old?”
His mother thought for a moment with a look of concern on her face, then gently replied, “Son, you see the line next to my eye right here? That’s from laughing from all the joy you’ve brought to my life.
“And this patch of gray in my auburn hair? That’s from the time you had a high fever and I didn’t know if you would make it through the night. I prayed so hard and God let you stay with me for one more day.
“The laugh lines on the sides of my cheek are from watching you play ball in your first baseball game, your first steps and your first school play.
“These lines on my forehead? Well, they’re from watching you with worry as you rode your bike for the first time. I was holding tight, then I had to let go.
“The veins in my legs? They’re from every step I took when I walked you to school in the morning, and then again when I walked home.
“The lines on my hands, now withered and worn, are from squeezing your father’s hand so tightly the day you were born, and from the long hours I spent working to make sure you had presents under the Christmas tree each year, food in your belly and clothes on your back.
“The stretch marks on my body are from when I carried you in my belly and brought you into the world.
“The weakness of my arms is from carrying you in them when you were little, until I couldn’t any more.
“The frailness of my body is from eating what was left over, once you had your fill.
“So you see, I’m proud of every line and every wrinkle on my face because they remind me of you, the love we share and the joy you’ve brought to my life.”
When his mother had finished, the boy fell silent, staring at his mother in awe as tears slid slowly down his cheeks.
From that day on, he viewed his mother in a new light, proud that she was his mother.
“I love you, Mom,” he said as he hugged her tight, ashamed of the question he had asked, his heart filled with love for her.
For the boy knew that everything she had done in her life was for him.
He knew that she loved him, too, more than he had realized ever before.
And the lines and wrinkles just faded away.
Theresa A. Oliver is a senior Communications major from Clarksville, Ind.