Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Mom, Frank's Mom, And Opening The Door For Ladies

Several nights ago, I ran an entry called Kindergarten Kindness about three of our young men at WCS being chivalrous to the girls in their class. As I think about the manner in which we learn manners in our culture, my mind goes back, as many of yours would, to my mother. We weren't wealthy economically but my mother stressed to her children how to carry yourself with class and dignity even if you weren't rich. Here is something I penned about Mom in August of 2007 which kind of highlights the presence of my mother in my life:

She was always there. She was there when I was born and on my first day of school. She spanked me when I needed it and loved me when I didn't deserve it. She sewed patches on my jeans and ironed my shirts. She cooked my supper before my high school ball games and sat with me as I ate. When I took the lovely Deb Schark to the York High School Sports Banquet, she went to the florist with me and helped me select orchids. She knew when I was messing up and she worried when I got hurt in sports. She forgave me when I hurt her feelings and drove six hours through a monsoon when I had hernia surgery. She taught me how to be content with what I had and she let me lick the beaters when she made frosting. I watched her diligently grade papers at night, little realizing I would follow her footsteps into the teaching profession. She came to my college and spoke to the girls about what makes families tick. She told me stories about her relatives in Arkansas and made me feel like I was there. I watched her partner with my dad as they raised three biological and two foster kids through lean times and better times. And then, she forgot. Her mind has been left with little capacity to maneuver in a world that increasingly closed in on her. She doesn't know me but I know her. I won't forget.

What a debt of gratitude I own Sarah Nelda Chesshir Hawley! Sometimes, the things our moms teach us have some comedic underpinnings. Yesterday, I received an e-mail from a friend from my days at Harding University in response to my story of the polite kindergarten boys. Like me, Frank Myer had a mother who believed in teaching her son the way of politeness, no matter how long it took or how public the lesson was! Frank graciously has allowed me to use this!

When I was sixteen, my lovely, sweet and talented mother takes me shopping with her. We are going to John Wannamakers (think Neiman's) so it's a special trip, at the King of Prussia Mall, the first enclosed mall in America. (Don't let the terrorist win - go shopping )

Anyway, as we approach the door, mom stops. I ask her, "What's wrong?" She looks at me and said, "I am waiting for you to open the door for me."
Being sixteen, and, oh, so clever, I asked her: "Did something happen to your arm? Are you hurt?"

For that lovely comment, not only did I get the female eye-roll, which we guys know is code for "You're an idiot", I got the look and, "I am going to wait for you to open the door."

For some reason, the little guy in my brain who feeds me good ideas was taking a coffee break or something because I decided to reply. "Well, then we are going to wait because since your arm isn't hurt, I think you should open the door for yourself."

Mom smiled and said, "No, we will wait."  

She then starts talking to me about the weather, what's going on in our lives, acting as if nothing is going on.People are coming in and out of the door, looking at us, wondering why this nice woman doesn't simply shoot her hard-headed sixteen year old son.

I asked again, "Are you going to open the door?"  She just smiles.
Now, one would think I have done enough dumb things for the day, but wait, there's more. I said, "Well, I am going in." So, I walked up to the door, opened it just wide enough for me to slip through, and went into the store. Keep in mind, shoppers are coming and going like normal.

There are double, glass doors. I go through the next set, thinking to myself that I've won and Mom will come in behind me. I stopped and looked.
No, sir. My wonderful,sweet and loving mother, who has nerves of steel and a determination to teach her son manners, stands outside. She is not coming in.
Finally the good idea guy came back from break and I went out and opened the door for her. She didn't gloat. She smiled and said, "Thank You" and we had a great day.
I open doors for pretty much everybody now.
Enjoy the ride,

Applicable quote of the day:
"A mom reads you like a book, and wherever she goes, people read you like a glowing book review."  

Robert Brault

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at

*picture is from*
**Frank writes a terrific devotional called Friday From Frank! Here is his e-mail if you would like to get added to his mailing list! 

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