There’s an old saying “A son is a son ‘til he takes a wife but a daughter’s a daughter all of her life.” This may be true of a lot of families but in all the Irish families I’ve known (and I’ve known a lot) sons and mothers are very, very close. It’s not that they’re not manly. Irish guys all seem to be tough guys. But in an Irish family, Mama’s boys are more the rule than the exception.
As a little girl I watched my adult cousins around my Aunt Mary. Her boys were always around and they doted on her. And my own brothers were the same with Mama. I saw how they treated her with such great love and respect and they were such an example to me.
My oldest brother, Thomas, died before I was born. He was a Marine and was killed in action in Korea. But I knew all the stories about him. Some I heard from Mama but the really fun ones I heard from my other brothers. One story that Mama loved telling was the time Thomas and his friends went to a carnival in town one summer evening.
Thomas and his friends were in their later teen years so girls were definitely of interest to them. In the early 1950’s it was not only possible, but likely that they’d marry within just a few years. And the carnival had attracted a lot of girls!
The guys did meet some girls and spent the evening riding the rides and playing the carnival games. Late in the evening Thomas won a huge box of chocolates playing one of the games. The young lady who was his “date” clearly expected him to hand her the box. But he didn’t
Thomas’ best friend dragged him away from the group and told Thomas to give the girl the chocolates. But Thomas was having none of that! He told his friend that Mama loved chocolate and he wasn’t giving 10 lbs. of it to some girl he’d probably never see again. And that’s what happened. Thomas brought the box of chocolates home to Mama.
I’m blessed to be in an Irish family with my own Mama’s boys.
Pete lives just a few miles away and I see him darned near every day. He and his girlfriend are very close to Mr. C and me and we make a point of spending time together. Pete is constantly doing things for me. He mops the kitchen when his dad and I aren’t feeling well. He runs errands for us. Best of all, he spends time with us every day. It may only be 15 minutes but he sits down and chats. I absolutely love that time!
He takes me fishing, which I love, every chance we get!
Pete also does things that are unexpected and very considerate. He and Andi went out for a fancy dinner the Saturday before Valentine’s Day. The next day he came to the house and had some kitchen things that had ended up at their place. But on top of those things there were two boxes that were obviously take-home boxes from a restaurant. He’d brought lobster for us from the restaurant! He was actually disappointed he couldn’t get them to us the night before but we were in bed before they got home.
And yesterday, while running an errand for me, he saw a ceramic knife and bought it for me. He said he thought I might like to try the ceramic knife since they are supposed to be so good. I’d never even mentioned those knives but I had wondered about them.
Our oldest son, Paul used to come home from school when his age was still one digit and say, “Would you like a nice cup of tea, Sweetheart?” He was asking me. He always called me Sweetheart. And he is as sweet as a grown man as he was as a little boy. He lives more than 300 miles from us now but he is always thinking of us and will text me from work with funny videos and links to websites he thinks I’d like.
Paul has four kids and he’s a great daddy!
Now Paul used to be in law enforcement and Pete works in one of the world’s most dangerous jobs. These are not delicate guys. But when it comes to me they’re patient, gentle, and considerate. I would be truly afraid of both of them if I were a guy that started trouble but with me they’re both Mama’s boys!