The month of May is reserved to honor all of you who are mothers or are about to be mothers.  Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all of you!!

I have a great respect for all ladies who choose be moms. My mom was in labor with me for over 28 hours. My oldest son was in his mother’s womb for the same amount of time. My other two kids came into the world after ten hours. I have two kids from one mother and one from another.

I watched both of these ladies as they went through the birthing process. There is no way that my body could go through what they went through. In both instances, when we found out that a new life was on its way, we were happy and excited about what was going to happen in nine months.

As their bellies began to expand with these human beings, it became very apparent that these women possess the kind of strength that we men can only dream of. They and all the other women are definitely the stronger sex.

The strength was directly felt by me during the birth of my second son, Deshawn. We were in the pre-delivery room. The nurses were monitoring her contractions and measuring the dilation of her cervix.

As I watched her going through those contractions, I felt that I needed for her to know that I was there with her so I grabbed her hand. That was in the middle of one of those contractions. We talked and I let her know that I was right there with her. Then another contraction began and I must tell you that I had no idea how strong that woman was. As the contraction began she squeezed my hand. It must have lasted for only a few minutes but my hand felt like it was in a vice grip. I thought for sure she was going to break it. As the contraction eased I guess she was wondering why I was on my knees. I hope she thought I was praying but I thought for a moment I would have to check into the hospital.  I guess it’s not hard to imagine that I didn’t hold her hand any more.

My middle name is squeamish and that is the reason why I didn’t go into the delivery room with either mom. I did go in after the babies were born and in each case it was a great relief to see that my kids looked normal. Having ten fingers and ten toes is nothing that should be taken for granted.

Some say that sons are closer with their mothers and daughters are closer to their fathers. That may be true because although I love both of my parents, I do feel more of a bond with my mom.

I am the oldest. My sister, Donna, is next in line with my brother, Mark, being the youngest.  She and my dad treated each of us the same. There was no sibling rivalry in our household. My mom is an artist and for that reason I always felt that I understood her, the best.  From her I developed an eye for the arts, so it is easy for me to appreciate the finished product of an artist. It doesn’t matter that the product is a painting or a photograph or a song. I feel that I have the ability to fully appreciate any artists work.

For that reason my mom and I would have detailed conversations about the protection of works of art. She was always concerned about someone stealing her ideas.

We think it happened once. She entered a contest held by an advertising agency. Her entry was a scratch and sniff picture. To this day, I have no idea how she did it but she made this picture and if one scratched a portion of it smelled like lemons. I was amazed that she did that and we both hoped that she would win the contest.

She didn’t win but a few years later, in a Sunday newspaper ad, we saw that someone had used that same scratch and sniff idea. There was no way to prove that was her idea since when you enter those kinds of contests; all entries become the property of the contest holder. It was rewarding, though, to see that her thinking was on the cutting edge.

She never entered any more contests. It taught us both the importance of protecting one’s art work. To this day I won’t buy any bootleg product. Every artist works hard. They and everyone associated with that work should be paid and they can’t if it has been pirated.

My mom suffered a series of strokes and she now has dementia.  I miss our talks but a few years before she got sick she started a practice of telling each of us that she loved us. That practice resonated with all of us and we say that to each other every chance we get. I’m sad what has happened to her but I have no regrets because while she was lucid she knew I loved her.

May is the month for mothers. Don’t let another moment pass. If you have difficulties with your mom put that aside. Call her right now and let her know that you love her.

I\’m the guy whose glass is always 1/2 full.