No matter how we picture a mom, whether it's that little gray haired matron in the perennial apron surrounded by pots and pans, the single mom raising two children and working her way up the corporate ladder, or the new mother finishing her MBA, as I see it, if there wasn't a mom, we'd have to invent her.
How come? Logic. Biologic. If there weren't moms, 7 billion people on this planet would be motherless. And what's more, more than 3 billion dads would have to take up cooking, sewing, making beds, changing diapers and cleaning house. And if there weren't moms, all this might be moot. However, the larger issue in this bit of convoluted logic is the word if.
If is the biggest little word in languages all over the world. It drives all humans to consider the possibilities of their very existence.
But let's not get too deep here, OK? In the pecking order of human thought, moms occupy a special place. The question is why? Why do we have a fixation about moms? What about dads? Nobody ever things about dad and apple pie. Dads don't seem to be anything but good old dad. There but not there. For whatever reason, moms take center stage in the play of life.
In each cultural group, it's the moms. For example, if there weren't Jewish mom, guilt would hardly be a part of a son's journey through life. If there weren't Italian moms, spaghetti and marinara sauce probably would have been a staple in Chinese cuisine (as they produced the first pasta). Imagine eating spaghetti and sauce with chopsticks (napkin under the chin, please).
If there weren't Irish moms, corned beef and cabbage might have been the national dish of some island in the Pacific (the Sandwich Islands? Replacing the BLT as a staple). If there weren't German moms, there wouldn't be a frau caring for her herr. And wiener schnitzel might have replaced sushi in Japan.
Alright, enough of this gibberish. Although I have the feeling that you think I'm favoring moms over dads. In a sense, you're right on. But it's not just me. Moms seem to exert a certain kind of passion from their children over dads. Think of the many athletes, when being interviewed, make it clear that this win was for mom (where's the dad who spent hours helping junior hit or throw a ball?).
No matter why, it's usually mom and the kids. And if it weren't for moms, who would take the kids to soccer practice? Hooray for soccer moms. Not to mention Little League games, or that ice skating competition.
If it weren't for moms, who would have ever thought to organize MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)? Or march in all kinds of weather in protest against war. And if dads are perceived as entrepreneurs, why are those shops in small towns called Mom and Pop stores? Mom's first on the store sign.
Yep, if it weren't for moms, where would dads be? Free from nagging. Free to be out with the guys. Happy bachelors (aw, I'm only kidding, moms).
Not begging the question, but as a dad, let me take issue with everything I've said about moms versus dads. If it weren't for dads, there wouldn't be 7 billion people on this earth.
That's not too deep, is it? And if it weren't for dads, 4 billion moms wouldn't have a man to do the heavy lifting.
So after taking both sides of this question, let me close this rambling column on a note that sums up the whole thing. Both sides given credit. If there weren't moms and dads, what would all the kids do for parents?
- - -L.C. Goldman is a Naples novelist who has published 4 books. His latest novel, "The Fighting Ethnics," is available at Barnes & Noble.