The Crystal Stair

Don’t you fall now, for I’se still goin honey, I’se still climbin…

Mother to Son
Langston Hughes

This past weekend we celebrated Mother’s Day, a time to honor those who have raised us, nurtured us and have shaped us into the people we are or will become. Be it by birth or life circumstance, women have been the catalyst in shaping society for generations.

As my wife and I raise our two sons (a high school senior and freshman), I am just now beginning to understand some of the things my mother experienced while raising my sisters and I. Even with a father in the home, let’s face it; mothers are hands-down the captain of the household ship.

A good mother guides, navigates and directs her children onto a path that will lead them to a successful life. This direction is not based on wealth (or the lack thereof), or social status; it’s grounded in unrequited love, the desire to simply see your children do a little better than yourself. This is evident in the poem Mother to Son. The mother declares to her son that, “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair”. She goes on to tell him about the splinters, tacks and bare floors that have made her way difficult. Success for her, has not come by admiring the beauty of the staircase – she was never afforded that luxury. Her success came from simply climbing the staircase and never giving up, never tiring, and never complaining. She warns her son, “Boy, don’t you turn back, don’t you sit down on the steps”. Life is rarely easy, and a mother knows the downfalls of complacency.

Thanks to all mothers who have passed life’s lessons on to us. We gratefully oblige, as we continue to climb the staircase. For your love, we’ll gladly endure the splinters.


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