Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Do something to make mom proud

Put smartphone away and communicate

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It's almost Mother's Day, and you young people know what that means, don't you?

It means it's time for you to show your mom how special she is and how much you care by sending her a lovely gift you stumbled on while surfing the Internet looking for amusing videos of cats.

I am just kidding, of course, young people. Your mom doesn't need a present to let her know how much you -- the person she sat up with all night when you had a fever, the person whose hand she held when you were scared out of your wits by those (bad word) flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz -- feel about her deep in your heart.

The only thing your mom cares about is that you are healthy and happy, that you are eating three square meals a day, maybe going outside once in a while to get some fresh air, and not playing your "music" so loud that you go deaf. And would you please stop crossing your eyes or they're going to be stuck that way forever. You can't spend the rest of your life watching Game of Thrones on cable and if you think the Laundry Fairy is going to pick those smelly socks up off the floor in your room, well, you have another thing coming.

The truth is, young people, times have changed dramatically since Uncle Doug was a kid and moms have changed right along with them. There are countless differences between hip modern moms and the old-school moms that used to rule my neighbourhood with an iron fist clutching a wooden spoon.

The main historical difference would be in terms of sheer volume. I'm not talking here about the actual number of moms; no, I'm talking about the ability of any single mom, using only her vocal chords, to produce a wall of sound at a decibel level so powerful it could shatter windows in apartment buildings halfway around the world.

Modern moms don't need to raise their voices when they want to contact their children. If you, a modern young social-media-adoring person, are out and about, your tech-savvy mom can simply send you a gentle and silent text message, such as: "R U COMING HOME FOR MEAT LOAF? LOL!"

In my era, mothers developed leather-lined lungs because the only way they could get their kids to come home for any reason at all was by opening the front door, sticking their heads out and shrieking their children's names at the volume of a heavy metal concert so that, even if the child in question was playing touch football several time zones away, the shock waves alone would immediately cause their ears to begin bleeding.

That's the way it was back in the good old days. We did not have awesome video games or smartphones or personal music devices the size of a single grape. No, tragically, we had to go "outside" and play, in person, with the other kids in our neighbourhood, as opposed to meeting them in cyberspace for a game of Killer Alien Zombies from Hell.

If our 1960s-style moms wanted us to come home, they couldn't just call us up on a mobile phone. It was a simpler time when the only way to transmit your voice from one place to another was by yelling into an empty soup can, which was connected to another empty soup can via an extremely long piece of vibrating string.

But that is not today's parental point, young people. Today's point is Mother's Day is right around the corner and you need to drop whatever you are doing and do something to make your mother proud.

It's probably a little too late for you to get into medical school, but there are options.

For instance, since the dawn of time, mothers around the world have had a soft spot for things their children have made, especially things that can be stuck on fridges with tiny magnets or have been created via the ancient system of gluing pieces of elbow macaroni onto other things.

You could also send her flowers or a lovely greeting card proclaiming her "The World's Best Mom," but I recommend you go for the personal touch this year. Grab a couple of empty soup cans and some string and let mom know how the apple of her eye is making out in the real world.

Because she just wants you to be happy.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 10, 2013 A2

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