When I was young, I had a habit of waking up in the middle of the night, convinced horrible creatures swarmed around my bunk bed. I'm sure the beady, watching eyes of a dozen stuffed animals--including one ET doll--placed across from the bed had nothing to do with this phenomenon. I took to keeping a flashlight in my blankets, convinced the little glowing halo was enough to cut through the darkness of my own imagination, but I'm pretty sure you could give the 7-year-old me a floodlight and he'd still be afraid of the shadows.
In nearly every case, I'd make it halfway down the hall before my mom intercepted me, eyes full of weary understanding and arms full of comfort. Sometimes I'd sleep with her, sometimes I'd get whatever midnight snack would mollify me, and sometimes she'd calm me down and walk me back to bed. One of these many nights, as she tucked me in, I asked her: how do you know to come for me? What if I'm scared or not safe and you can't hear me calling for you?
No worries, she explained, tapping a finger against her temple. She had a special antenna inside her head. Every mom gets one when she has her first baby. Any time a child is scared, or hurting, or needs a hug, that antenna buzzes. She could follow the buzz straight to me no matter where I was. She had her own Mom Radar.
I've grown a bit (not much) since I was 7. I now know, intellectually, that mom does not have Spidey-Sense or a bluetooth antenna inside her skull. But I'm still pretty sure that if terrorists ever kidnap me during my honeymoon, or I find myself reliving that James Franco movie, my mom will sit bolt upright somewhere and start making phone calls.
So this entry is for her. The woman so patient she could survive raising 5 loud, crazy boys (but so sharp she can get all of us in line with a look); so fun I still ask her for advice about throwing parties; and so good that if I tried to convey in the amount of words it deserved, I'd overload Blogger's meager servers. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. That is, assuming you've managed to find this blog. :)