I’m sure every mom has some really tough times. Some of those times we can later look back on and have a good laugh, but at the time they occurred, we may have been frustrated and ready to “throw up our hands” in dismay. Here are three such times that occurred in our family.

When our grandson was a toddler, his mom was very proud that she had taught her firstborn at such an early age to help by picking up things and throwing them in the trash. He would pick up bits of trash on the floor and proudly toddle to the trash bin and put them in and turn and look at his mom for her praise and approval. One day she got ready to go to work but could not find her watch. This was a very special watch that her dad and I had given to her for her graduation. After searching through the trash and not finding it, she could only conclude that it had already gone to the dumpster and been picked up by the garbage truck! At that moment, she was not so proud of her son for putting things in the trash for her.

Our second son was gifted with the use of words, but was never able to master math. When he was in first grade, I would sit at the kitchen table at night and work with him to teach him to subtract whole numbers through ten. To make the learning more interesting, I would use popcorn, spaghetti, raisins, or miniature marshmallows. We would put down a certain number, take away a certain number, and count what was left so he could write the answer on his homework paper. On one occasion, we were using marshmallows when the phone rang and I had to leave to answer it. “Go ahead and finish this row,” I told him. When I came back, there was not a single problem completed and he had eaten the marshmallows! It has been seven years since we lost this son. Before he passed away, we laughed together about the incident and he said, “Yeah. Those little colored marshmallows were tasty!”

Our oldest son had a curious nature. He liked to touch things when we went shopping or wherever we happened to be. I tried and tried to teach him to keep his hands off things, but he seemed not able to resist checking out whatever was available to examine. On one occasion our family was invited to dinner at a friend’s home. They thoughtfully seated our four children in the kitchen while we ate at the dining table. There was a shelf in the cabinet beside where they were seated that had a number of items on it. As we were enjoying a pleasant conversation and all seemed to be going well, we suddenly heard a loud “pop”. I couldn’t imagine what could have happened, but we soon knew when we all started rubbing our eyes and the tears started rolling down our cheeks. We quickly made our way to the front yard as our host explained that our son had set off a tear bomb! The tear bomb looked like a pen. Kenneth had picked it up to look at it thinking it might have different colors of ink in it. As the neighbors came running out of their houses to see why we were all in the yard crying, the host angrily said, “He shouldn’t have been bothering that!” He had a few other comments as well and repeated some of them several times! He was not happy with us!

Mother’s Day is such a special day to honor moms for all they have tolerated as well as the pleasures they have had in raising their children. Quite possibly each and every mom has stories they remember or are presently experiencing with their children. Each day is a day to invest in future memories to enjoy. Most of the older moms will readily tell the younger ones, cherish each moment with your children. They grow up so very fast and are gone before you know it!