My mom read the newspaper every day. She especially looked forward to the twice-weekly columns of Erma Bombeck, whose writings my mom enjoyed not merely because of her wittiness, but also because Bombeck was a woman of faith.
Indeed, Bombeck converted to Catholicism in 1949, the year she graduated from the University of Dayton with an English degree. A professor suggested that she pursue a writing career but, instead, she got married and decided to be a mom.
Alas, Bombeck and her husband were told they were unable to have a child, so they adapted a baby girl. Two years later, God laid His hands upon Erma and she gave birth to a son who was followed three years later by another son.
For 10 years Bombeck was a homemaker, devoting herself exclusively to raising her three children. Once they were older, she decided the time was right for her to use the writing gift she was blessed with.
Over a span of three decades, Bomback authored more than 4,000 newspaper columns, published in roughly 900 newspapers and reaching some 30 million readers. And of all her amusing writings, there was none more memorable than this Mother’s Day column she wrote in 1974:
When God Created Moms
When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”
And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?” She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.”
The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.”
“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.” “That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded.
“One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”
“God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow….”
The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.