Sorry, Mom. No Pink for You.

My family got together Sunday to celebrate Mother's Day. Just a small affair, you know, since only 22 of us could make it. I laughed when I saw the pile of Mother's Day cards stacked up on the gift table: every one of them came in a pink envelope.

© Sumetho/Getty Images


Pink is so sweet, innocent, and calming. I remember reading an article once that claimed pink walls reduce aggression and cause physical weakness.

I've never really liked pink. And it isn't the first color that comes to mind when I think of most moms, especially my own mom. My mom is active, clever, and fiercely loyal. I'm not sure what archetypal colors represent those qualities, but probably not pink.

In honor of moms everywhere, pink-lovers or not, I offer a re-post of an earlier story about my mom. This account--involving my mom, my brother Joe, and a team of Hooters servers--generated quite a bit of email in my in-box. The story seems to delight people, even my brother (now). Enjoy!

The Day Joe Took Mom to Hooters

When my brother Joe was in high school, he was the kind of kid who enjoyed learning life's lessons the hard way. He has always had a brilliant mind, but back in the day, he didn't have a lot of time to sit around considering if-then control statements. That's how he ended up at Hooters.

Joe and his buddies went out for lunch at Hooters. Caught up in adolescent ecstasy, I suppose, Joe bought a souvenir: a Hooters T-shirt. He brought it home. And then he put it in the laundry hamper. Since Joe had not yet learned how to wash clothes, he must have imagined that the hamper was the gateway to a magical land of clean. He must not have realized that an actual person--our mom--manually emptied that hamper approximately six times a day. Thus my mom discovered Joe had been hanging out with the ladies at Hooters.

The next day when Joe got home from school, Mom was ready: as Joe's bus stopped at the bottom of the driveway, Mom settled herself into a kitchen chair, facing the door, cradling the traitorous T-shirt in her lap. Unsuspecting, Joe burst through the door, ready to holler "I'm home!" Catching sight first of Mom, then the T-shirt, Joe froze, slack jawed, with the doorknob still clutched in his hand. Mom broke the silence:

"Get in the car."
"What?" Joe asked.
"Get in the car. You're taking me to Hooters. If it's good enough for you and your friends, it's good enough for me."
"No, Mom, I can explain. . . ."
"Get. In. The. Car."

Joe got in the car.

A few minutes later, Joe and Mom were sitting side by side on bar stools, Joe with his untouched Mountain Dew, Mom with her Chardonnay. Really hitting her stride now, Mom proceeded to comment on the giftedness of the wait staff, variously endowed, as Joe prayed for the world to end.

"Are we done here?" Mom asked at last.
"YES. Oh, yes."
"Are you coming back?"
"No, Mom."
"Good. Let's go."

My brother is now a talented man in his thirties. A couple of years ago, some of his work colleagues decided to go out for lunch on a Friday afternoon.

"I'll join you," Joe chimed in. "Where are we going?"
"The new Hooters down the road."
"Oh, I can't go."
The other guys scoffed: "Ha, ha. What, your wife won't let you?"
"No--my mom."

And that, my friends, is how my mom rolls. You'll never see innovative problem-solving advice like this in a parenting book. Heck, the Apostleship of Prayer might "misplace" this unconventional post before the day is out. But this is a blog for adults looking for prayerful ways to inspire their parenting, and I'm pretty sure Mom's trip to Hooters with Joe was a gift of pure inspiration from God.

May Mother's Day inspire all women to care for others in astonishing ways.

P.S. I love you, Mom!