Simple pleasures

Last night, as I was getting ready to go to bed, I heard some very kind words coming from the dining room — “Thank you, Mom.”

The speaker: My youngest son, a seventh grader. He had been toiling over his pre-algebra homework with his mom by his side joining him in the struggle. His words of thanks were not slopped out as if fulfilling some kind of familial requirement of politeness. They were stated with genuine appreciation.

Trese’s help with our son’s homework has reminded me of my own mother’s help with me years ago. I struggled through the fourth grade, and every night Mom would sit with me at the dining room table and struggle with me. I was tired and grumpy near the end of the day and thought the work would never end. Mom’s commitment to me was never more greatly illustrated.

When it came time for me to move to the fifth grade, they put me in what was called the “excelerated” class with all of the smart kids. I did just fine the next three years in that group before we moved on to junior high. I would never have been put in that class if not for my mother and her tireless work.

My son is grumpy about his homework now, but he already appreciates his mom and he will appreciate her even more in the years ahead. I know.

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