Job description: Long-term, often chaotic work, including health services, courier duties, small gadget repair, chief cook and bottle washer. Must be willing to work 24-hour shifts without complaining, possess the stamina of a pack mule and be capable of going from 0 to 60 mph faster than the Ferrari (that you'll never be able to afford or rationalize with this job), just in case that blood-curdling scream from the other room is not someone crying wolf this time.
Did I mention that the responsibilities include the willingness to be hated, at least until someone needs $5 from you? You must also coordinate production of multiple homework assignments, plan social gathering for clients of various ages and maturity levels, and assume complete and final accountability (minus reward or appreciation) for the quality of all end products.
In short, you essentially juggle being considered indispensable one moment and an embarrassment the next.
This position is motherhood.
While no previous experience is required, one key element essential to the success and survival for all involved is love.
I am blessed with three important moms in my life: my birth mother who gave me life and loved me from the very beginning; another mom accepted me into her family as her son-in-law; and finally, the mom who blessed me with our own son and daughter. I love and appreciate all three.
My mom (and my dad both) made sure that I always knew that I was loved and cherished as I was growing up. If I made her job of motherhood difficult, then she was equal to the task, never making me feel like I was an inconvenient chore or obligation.
I am an only child, and she was married 20 years before she had me. Maybe that made her wiser and more cognizant of the eternal role she was stepping into. A mother's love and nurturing (or the lack there of) will affect her child for the rest of his or her life.
It is often that parenting model, so engrained in a child's existence, that echoes toward the next generation.
Thank God for the good mothers of the world! What kind of world would this be if none of us were brought up feeling loved?
I know there are some less fortunate souls who never experienced that unconditional love in the earliest years of their development from a nurturing parent or guardian.
I believe my mother prays for me every day—for my wellbeing, for my guidance and for my happiness.
The voice of my conscience is that of my mother. She helped me to learn right from wrong, to treat others the way I wanted to be treated, and to be happy and trust in God.
A granite tombstone at a cemetery in Morton already has my parents' names engraved on it. I have seen this tombstone once. It has 75-year-old birthdates under the names of the ageless spirits that are always there for me. Uber-prepared for all situations, they have already planned for the time when they will leave me.
I would rather not have to acknowledge that the day will come when the second set of dates will be carved on that stone. I have had friends and neighbors who have recently lost their mothers, and though my heart goes out to them, I still fail to find words of comfort.
No one ever loves you quite the way your mother does.
I watch my wife and the special love that she has for our two children. I have witnessed first-hand the transformation that occurred when she became a mother, and even before that, as she felt every kick and hiccup prior to the births of our two kids.
I know how she longs for the day when our 2-year-old son will tell her that he loves her. She not only tells him every day, she lives it as well. I may be his play buddy, the one who gets him dirty and helps him make a mess with all of his toys in the floor, but when he is tired, when he is hungry, when he is sick and doesn't feel well, it is his momma who makes it all better.
When I was growing up, at some stage, sadly, I thought I outgrew the affectionate display of hugging my mom. Even though I love her with absolute sincerity, I haven't always expressed it as I should. I do know the value of that now.
This Mother's Day, I want to say, "I love you Mom, and I've got a big hug for you. Happy Mother's Day!"
Scott Dennis is a Morton native who lives in Pearl. Dennis earned a computer science degree from Mississippi College and works as an IT specialist with the U.S. Geological Survey. He is blessed with a wonderful wife and a small but growing family.