It’s Mama’s Day, Hon!

I can not let Mother’s Day pass without warm greetings to my fellow mamas.  There are only a few hours left to this day so let me try to get my neurons to fire.

Doug Glanville, a visiting writer for the New York Times, has written an “op-extra” column today addressing Manny Ramirez’s predicament and heeding a mother’s advice.  The following is an excerpt from that commentary:

HEADING HOME

This past week, Manny Ramirez became the latest superstar associated with performance-enhancing drugs.  So what is happening to the national pastime?  Is every great player on the stuff?

My mom has always been a big part of how I evaluate what I do when faced with a choice.  She taught me to look at the big picture.  A lot of people have asked me whether I’m bitter about having played the game “clean” while competing for my job with some opponents and teammates who weren’t.  But my mom sat on my shoulder (even from 1,000 miles away), reminding me that those who made the other choice could pay a big price.

Sure, your bank account is growing, your assault on the record books is continuing.  But maybe your marriage is falling apart and your confidence in who you were without the drug is so in question that you can’t go a day without it.  Everyone who cared about you has evaporated from your life, or become an accessory to your self-destruction.

My mom would remind me of the beauty of knowing that what you gave of yourself was authentic, and that anything that happened — success or failure — was real.  I knew, for instance, that the two home runs I hit off Curt Schilling one day were real.  There’s power in knowing your capabilities, however imperfect, whatever odds you are up against.  You get back a result you can trust.

Doug Glanville, from “Manny and Mom”

The media today was saturated with tributes and accolades for all the mothers out there.  I was not impressed, nor moved, until I came across Glanville’s article.  Whether we are talking about sports or any other endeavor is irrelevant.  What IS important is that we are honest unto our own selves.  It may be easy to fool the world, but one can not fool oneself.  That is the ultimate betrayal.  Bottom line: Glanville’s mom taught him values.

I had the pleasure of accompanying my daughter to an outdoor music festival, where she performed today.  It was about two hours away in a tiny town in Maryland called Havre de Grace.  The setting was on the Susquehanna River in a grassy park.  It was a day that I am most grateful for.  Maribel took me away from it all today, sang my favorite song, “Minnesota”, and made me realize that I will never be a roadie.  As we drove through Baltimore, I told her, “It’s Bawlmer, hon”.  She had no idea what I was saying, so I explained to her the term of endearment that many people use to describe the often maligned city, the place where her Dad and I met 37 years ago.  All in all, we had a great day, one that will go down in the annals of Yo Mama’s best.

I think that Maribel and I learned from each other the value of a good, fun, honest day.  It is thrilling for me to see her embody the values that I tried to teach her reflected back, magnified and put in even clearer perspective, as she reminds me of the good things in life.

Happy Mother’s Day, hon.

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