If the fire comes from Dad, the water comes from Mom.
I don't mean to sound cliched or sexist. It's just how it is.
To wit: When I was ten years old I got upset one night and was ready to run away. I went to my room and started packing my suitcase. Come to think of it I wasn't so much packing as chucking all of my belongings.
Dad probably would have walked in and said, "Knock it off and put your clothes away," or something to that effect.
Mom calmly sat down on the floor, looked me in the eye and said, "If you're going to go at least have dinner first." So we went downstairs for dinner, and I stayed for another 12 years.
My mother always had a sense about people that I never had growing up, especially the opposite sex. During my vulnerable teen years (yes its redundant) I connected most with Mom over girls. She always knew who was diggin' me and who wasn't. And why! For a guy so clueless he would miss a woman with a post-it on her forehead saying "I want to date you" it was like having the secrets of the Manhattan Project.
Mom has her pet sayings, a couple of which are top of mind:
"Minimum expectations, maximum serenity."
"You're the one with dignity, you're the one with integrity."
And don't get me wrong, Mom has fire also.
A couple of years ago my wife and I went to a play with Mom and Dad. It was Shakespeare's Othello, and a group of college students were sitting in the row in front of us. During the first act they gabbed away, giggling like 12 year olds and acting like they were on a field trip to see Porkys instead of pursuing an advanced degree.
By intermission I'd had enough. I went to the box office and said in no uncertain terms that either ushers separate these ingrates or I wanted our money back. Not to worry, they assured me, we will act quickly.
Not to worry, indeed. I got back to my seat and sat next to Mom, who told me in a voice loud enough for all to hear, "Don't worry. While you were away I told these kids, 'Listen, when that curtain goes up you are not to say a word. Understand? Not a word.'"
Not a word, indeed.
Happy Mother's Day.