A frog for Mothers Day – don’t try this at home

Most mothers have memories of Mother’s Day. But I have only one friend with this one:

It happened two decades before COVID-19, when some stores (particularly florists) ran out of Mother’s Day merchandise long before the day itself. Families could take mothers out for dinner (if they were willing either to make reservations ahead or wait up to an hour for a table to open). Our most unflappable friends decided to do just that—take Mom out for dinner after church.

The restaurant has changed hands now. Back then it was called Houston’s Pizza. For years it was one of the most popular eating establishments in town. The décor was comfortable, the food delicious and not crazily priced. Friendly staff served tables efficiently.

Lynn ordered her favourite—Caesar salad. Partway through, she noticed what looked like two tiny unshelled sunflower seeds, quite near each other, at the bottom of her bowl. “Funny. I’ve never seen those in a Caesar salad,” she thought. Looking closer, she calmly set down her fork. “Lloyd,” she told her husband, “there’s a frog in my salad.”

Lloyd bent over her bowl, blinked, then sat back. “So there is,” he said, dumbfounded. Their teenaged son, Shane, leaned over the table and peered in too. He agreed with his parents. That was indeed a frog down there. 

They flagged their waitress. “Uh, there’s a frog in this salad,” they said. The girl laughed, assuming them to be joking. Just then the tiny spring peeper, precisely color-matched to the Romaine lettuce, shifted drunkenly under the nudge of a fork. She grabbed the salad and ran. I’m not sure if she ever returned.

Their appetite understandably diminished, our friends stood up and made their way to the counter. The manager graciously noted they wouldn’t charge for the salad—or the experience. Our friends didn’t even ask for a froggy—I mean doggy—bag.

This Mother’s Day will bring memories for all of us. Some will bring laughter, some tears. But speaking as someone who no longer has a mother this side of Heaven, can I ask a favour? While you have opportunity, however you connect with her this year, say more than “I love you.”

Remind her of a time you laughed together. Thank her for her sacrifices. For not killing you in your know-it-all or rebellious years. Pick out a few specific things she taught you and remind her of those. Potty training, if nothing else. Because where would you be today without that?

No mother is perfect. Every Mother’s Day I want to apologize to my children (and grandchildren) for not being so. I believe most loving parents (and grandparents) do the best they can, and when they know better, they do better. At least thank her for that. And while you’re on a roll, tell her you forgive her—for not being perfect.   

Honour (respect) your mother and father, God commanded, adding that things will go well with you if you do. This week, start with Mom.

How I wish I could spend even an hour with her…so I tell Jesus to remind her I love and miss her. And that I’m undyingly grateful she prayed that prayer with me; the one that anchored my life in him. Forever and ever, amen.

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