Because I’m Your Mother


My mom visited construction school this week. It was her first trip to the Tennessee College of Applied Technology to see what I’ve been up to since last fall. I think she was surprised. For one thing, I don’t think she believed I actually wore a tool belt every day, until she saw it with her own eyes. I hope it made her happy. After all, she’s always suggesting I wear a belt.

Mom and Kenton, the instructor, had an impromptu parent-teacher conference, in which Kenton “bragged” about my work, including an open-book multiple-choice test that I may or may not have failed, depending on whom you ask.

The next day, one of my classmates said, “Your mom’s nice.” 

My mom is, in fact, very, very nice.

Then he said, “She should take the class, too.” 

My mom can do anything she sets her mind to. For example, I think the only thing more difficult than calculating roof rafters is probably calculating a bid in Bridge, at which my mom is an ace. But I don’t expect to be framing out an 8’x12′ mother-daughter shed anytime soon.

The image of Sandy in her needlepoint shoes scaling a 6-pitch panel of OSB sheathing was scrolling through my imagination when my young colleague added, “My mom wants to join the class now, because she’s been reading Build Me Up Buttercup.”

I’m not sure anyone has ever said anything that made me happier.

But the notion of a flock of moms invading our workshop did not delight everyone. There was some talk about what life would be like if there were multiple OSHA Moms floating around, asking annoying hypotheticals, spritzing everyone with sunscreen and nagging them about protective eyewear, which are my maternal signatures.

After some consideration, our youngest classmate weighed in hesitantly. “I don’t know if we need more moms,” she said. I’ve already got two–my mom and Carrington. That’s enough moms for me.”

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