Missing PJ’s and Mother’s Day

Published 9:23 am Thursday, May 11, 2023

By Les Ferguson, Jr.

On October 10, 2011, I became a widower, the father of a deceased child and a single parent. It was sudden, unexpected, and incredibly difficult.

As a result, the challenges came at us hard and fast. It was like the phrase kids use in playing hide or seek, “ready or not, here I come.” And we were not ready.

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I freely admit that it was incredibly hard learning how to be the parent my children needed. My hat is off to any single parent – I couldn’t have done it were it not for the support of family, friends, and God.

But even during all that trauma and pain, there were things to laugh at. Case in point, I perfected baked spaghetti. We ate it often. After I remarried, my son Conner said to my new wife, Becki, “I’m so
glad you can cook – I never want to eat his cooking again.” Drama and trauma and a little ungrateful exaggeration to boot.

I’ll never forget the first day I took our youngest son, Casey, back to kindergarten – he still needed lots of help getting dressed, ready and out the door. But we managed to pull it together, drove to the school, and bravely made our way to his classroom.

Honestly, he handled it much better than dear old Dad. But we did it, along with lots of other learning experiences in those raw, painful early days.

But back to the story… I took him to school and drove back home. I was obsessed at that point about doing the laundry and cleaning the house – busy work I now understand. But that day, I couldn’t find his pajamas anywhere. I searched high and low to no avail. But find them I did that night when it was time to take a bath – they were still on him, but under his clothes! I’ve often wondered if his teachers knew, but regardless, we have laughed at this often in the years since.

Why do I tell this story? It’s not to incur your sympathy 11 years later. Not at all. Instead, it’s to do two things: to recognize the many roles a mother fulfills and to encourage us to deliberate acts of thankfulness for the care and nurture given by moms everywhere.

Speak into their lives–they deserve our appreciation and love! Happy Mother’s Day! “Give her the reward of her labor, and let her works praise her at the city gates.” (Proverbs 31:31)

Les Ferguson, Jr., is minister at Oxford Church of Christ. Write to him at lfergusonjr@gmail.com