Thanks, Mom

When I was nine, I got into a fight with a kid across the street. I don’t recall what started it, other than it was related to a 45 RPM copy of “Joy To The World” by Three Dog Night.

Only I could get into fisticuffs over a song by that title.

The song was a hit at the time in 1971 and the other young man and I were arguing when he threw a punch. So, I threw one back.

It was on.

When I went home and my mom asked why I looked as if I’d been a guest boxer on the Gillette Friday Night Fights, I explained what happened.

My mom grabbed my arm and took me back across the street; all while mumbling she was going to have a talk with this kid’s mother.

Now, guys (even at age nine) are just wired differently than girls. Grown men can have a fight and 10 minutes later share a beer. Women never forget anything.

I’d had enough with the kid across the street and felt that the situation was resolved. But my mom felt differently.

So, off we went to this kid’s house, where my mom let his mom have it. No punches were thrown, but that was the first time I saw that side of my mom.

It was like a momma bear that felt one of her cubs had been wronged.

That’s the difference between moms and dads.


Mom: “Jimmy, John is trying to stick a fork in the electrical socket.”

Dad: “He won’t do it but once.”


From experience, dads know that kids, especially boys, have to go out and fall down. That’s how they learn to pick themselves up.

But moms carried you for nine months, birthed you, nursed you, and then they watch over you like a hawk. For the rest of your life.

When you start dating, they like to show your girlfriends photos of you naked in a kiddy pool when you were two or tell them something you said at age five that was completely stupid.

And they never forget these stories. They continue to tell them to your grandchildren.

Moms don’t do this to embarrass you (well, maybe some do). I believe most moms do the things that they do because there is an undeniable and cosmic bond between a mom and her kids.

They remember every achievement you had, every award you received, and every Valentine you made for them. And they keep them. All of them. Forever.

Moms are there when your marriage stumbles or fails and when your child gets in trouble. They’re there when you’re trying to figure out which fork to take in the road of life.

Dads are who you call when you can’t get the timing set right on a 71 Olds Cutlass. Moms are who you call when you need comfort.

I realize that not everyone has a great mom. Others lose theirs early in life. But I’m blessed. I got the best mom ever.

She’s the reason I’m the one who got to keep the copy of that Three Dog Night record. I still have it. And I still have her.

On this year’s Mother’s Day, joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea.

Mom, joy to you and me.


©2021 John Moore

To send John a message; buy his books, Write of Passage: A Southerner’s View of Then and Now Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, or listen to his Weekly 5-Minute Podcast; visit his website at



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