I’m sure I’m not alone when it comes to a game we used to play while walking to school or elsewhere called, ‘step on a crack, break your mother’s back’… Yes, I admit it! We (my older sister and I) played that game a lot when we were kids.
We grew up in a small town and at the end of a very quiet, safe, dead-end road where some of our family and a few retired couples lived. We also had a few younger families as well with kids our age who we spent a lot of time with.
Downtown was about a mile walk from where we lived. Our street was at a high point in town, so we had to walk downhill on the old Ely street hill to get there. On Saturdays, in the Summer, my mother would give us both 50 cents allowance (a lot more then than now) and we were off to walk downtown (yes, by ourselves... times have changed since them) to a store called ‘The Newsstand’. They had candy and comics (Superman comics!) for 25 cents each. Perfect.
I still remember the first time I experienced the, ‘step on a crack, break your mother’s back’ game. My sister and I were starting on the path downtown by way of Ely street and she suddenly yelled at me, ‘don’t step on the crack!!’… I jumped out of my shoes. She told me mom’s back would break every time I stepped on them. SO, the six-year-old naïve kid I was, surely didn’t want to hurt my mother!
For the rest of that walk, and every walk following, I played hopscotch when walking on the sidewalk to avoid the cracks. TO THIS DAY, it still bugs me to step on those cracks!! Maybe it’s because I’m slightly OCD or maybe I’m just scarred for life… Who knows.
Walking home today from my morning coffee downtown, I couldn’t help but to take this shot. Sure, I know my mother will be fine if I step on that crack. I know that child’s game is silly. Yet, the innate desire to protect my mother to this day is as strong as it was then.
We’re not getting any older and we may not have as much time left with our loved ones as we hope for. Now that I’m past 50, it seems like that time is getting shorter and shorter. Over the years, my mother has always been there for me. She has always loved and accepted me no matter how dumb I’ve been at times. She provided for us when we were young and is always glad to hear from us when we call.
It’s true that a mother’s love never ends. We may not want to be considered ‘kids’ any longer, but, I know now, I’ll always be her kid and that’s ok with me. She’s a beautiful person who had taught me many valuable lessons in life. Was she perfect? No. Have I been a perfect parent? No. Is anyone a perfect parent? No.
My kids and grandkids may never know her like I do, but they are made of the same quality she is and, one day, we’ll all be together. My hope and prayer is that I can live a life that she’ll be proud of.
So, tonight, here’s to not stepping on those cracks and loving our moms who have given so much of themselves for us over the years. Let us always love and protect them. Let us always respect and care for them, even if they get to a point where they can’t care for themselves. Let us always appreciate them. And, most of all, let us pay forward the lessons we’ve learned from them with our own kids and grandkids.
I love you Mom and thank you for those 50 cent allowances that allowed me to get those Superman comic books and a Hershey bar!! I really did try to not step on those cracks…
Wishing you all a blessed week!