Today we celebrate the only people in the world that are teachers, nurses, advocates, friends, jailers (at least with kids like me), chauffeurs, care takers, psychologists, and examples. Society has made it easy for us to say all this in one word, Mother. Considering this is a website about BYU sports I will save you all the stories of how my mom bandaged up my cuts and bruises, fixed the clothes that were ripped when I became the Incredible Hulk, and read my mind when I was struggling. I would like to focus instead on how she made me who I am today. Since a book could be written about her influence on my life I will narrow it down to how she helped mold me into the sports, and BYU fan that I am.
Growing up I was one of the lucky kids that had two parents that loved sports and passed that love on to me. However, as much as my Dad enjoyed sports, he didn't hold a candle to my mom. On any given Saturday, or most week nights for that matter, you could find my mom cleaning or cooking but still following each BYU basketball, Utah Jazz, or Atlanta Braves game I had on TV or the radio. She knew what the score was, she knew who the players were, and she knew how much I loved the games. Although my mom has tremendous knowledge of a variety of sports, she would always give me a chance to show my knowledge or encourage me to learn more. I remember sitting through baseball games and my mom would quiz me on what the manager should do in that situation, or what pitch the pitcher should throw. As I have become a parent I have come to believe that she knew the answer to each of those questions before she asked, but would then act as if the answer I gave was new and couldn't possibly be wrong....even if it would have ended horribly.
The unwavering support continued even through my rebellious teenage years when I would leave church early to catch the end of the 49ers game under the guise of supporting former BYU quarterback Steve Young. My dad didn't want us watching sports on Sunday, and even studied the scriptures during the Super Bowl. Many Sunday afternoons would end with my mom reminding me of this, and then asking what the score was and how Young was doing. Looking back I can see it was not a burning desire to see how our favorite quarterback was playing, and was more of a desire to take interest in my life in any way should could.
This interest in my life and love of sports has continued to this day and has been passed along to my children. For 30 years my parents had season tickets for BYU Football. Even with the passing of my Dad last year my Mom continued this tradition so she could spend at least six Saturday's a year with one or more of her grandchildren. She passes the same knowledge, the same excitement, and the same hoarse voice after yelling all game. When I asked my kids how many tickets to buy this year, it was unanimous that it didn't matter as long as grandma had hers. Through hard times, good times, sunny games, and snow filled stands, if grandma is at the game the kids will stay to the end. BYU football has become synonymous with spending time with Mom and Grandma, making every game day a great day, win or lose.
Words could never adequately describe the impact a mother can have on her children and grandchildren, and my case is no different. In many ways my mother helped mold me into who I am and who I will be in 10 or 20 years. She has helped make my children into the success stories they are as well. My love of sports started with my mom, my love of BYU was flamed by my mom, and nothing can break that bond that she created with me. So on this day of gratitude I express my thanks to her for all that she has done for me. Without her BYU would be fun, but not a way of life. Without her I would never be able to utter one of the most powerful and meaningful words in language, Mother. Thank you Mom for giving me my love of all things. To all mothers, and future mothers, but especially to my Mom I wish all a Happy Mothers Day!