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My Mother Is a Saint

The most physically injurious thing most mothers will have to withstand in the line of duty is the incredible act of childbirth itself. This has probably been the case for my mother, too. But don’t think I haven’t tried to top my delivery room entrance.

On my eighth birthday, before the presents and cake and ice cream, my parents took my friends and me out for a round of miniature golf. As you are surely aware, this game demands only the finest geometric intellect and athletic prowess; for a barely eight-year-old kid like myself, it was a sprawling obstacle course of treachery that both intimidated and inspired. This was the sport of noblemen, and I was but a babe in the woods.

Just look at what I was up against!

The sixth hole was obstructed by a windmill, whose slow, menacing fan blades called for an unearthly sense of timing. A massive gorilla guarded the eighth hole, his mechanical primate movements mocking my amateurish putting stance. But it was the eleventh hole that ultimately proved to be beyond my mettle. It required my little red ball to traverse the trajectory of a vertical loop, effectively defying gravity!

I knew there was only one thing that could get my ball through that loop: Unadulterated Power. As I summoned the might of Zeus, my mother, my vigilant companion, stood behind me, undoubtedly awed by my resolve to overcome this wickedly unnatural barrier. I solemnly raised my putter and swung with a force to humble Jack Nicklaus himself.

In the adrenaline haze, I don’t recall if I actually connected with the ball—but I definitely connected with my mother’s left temple. Seven holes early, the game was over.

Once my mother was safely in the hands of the local hospital’s emergency room staff, my dad drove my friends home, and we returned to the ER waiting room. My mother would eventually emerge, alive, with a number of stitches and a new story to tell. But in the meantime, all I could do was wait and weep, tortured by the golf tournament on the television and the memory of a mighty swing gone horribly wrong.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You have more than earned it!

Update (Errata)

In spite of the fact that she really should have had a concussion, my mother remembered the specifics of this event better than I did. First of all, presents and cake and ice cream did happen prior to the miniature golf outing, so you can all dry your eyes about that. Secondly—and quite remarkably—the game did not end after my attempted matricide. Against my father’s insistence that we take her to the hospital immediately, my mother decided instead that we should finish our game while she stopped the bleeding and kept the swelling down by holding a frosty can of Diet Coke against her head!

Let’s see the pearly gates turn down that resumé.