Setting The Ball

Mother’s Day Version 2018 went pretty well at our house. Our children took it upon themselves, together and in small groups, to plan and prepare dinner, procure flowers and chocolate, and invite and coordinate with the grandmothers. I still find it ironic that on Father’s Day dads get to sleep in, play golf, watch TV or nap, while on Mother’s Day moms have to spend the day making sure the kids feel good about the terrible breakfast she is served and their ungainly attempts at gift and card giving. Nobody said life was fair.

At the SALLT Illumination a few weeks ago Jon Erwin, half of the Jon & Andrew Erwin duo that directed “I Can Only Imagine,” said something that caught my attention. He said, “I was never good at spiking the volleyball, but I got really good at setting it for someone else.”

Mom’s don’t spike the ball, they set the ball for us to spike.

My mother stayed home and raised my brother and sister and me. She is a very intelligent, organized, and gifted woman. She could have had just about any career she wanted, but she chose “mother.” My wife excelled in school, finished her degree in 3 years, taught English as a second language, and wrote the curriculum for Spanish in the Putnam City elementary schools. Had she continued, she could have taken her pick of career paths in education (or anything else she wanted). At a point when her career was on the rise, she made the choice to stay home and raise our 6 kids. Those examples do not serve to take anything away from moms who raise children and work outside the home. In fact, those moms face additional challenges when it comes to time management and being a caregiver to little ones, and often the options available for advancement are limited because they have chosen to be moms.

What I am trying to say is that “mom” isn’t a fallback or secondary option. It is a choice that comes with great responsibility and self-sacrifice. It is a choice to set the ball for the next generation instead of spiking it themselves. It is a choice that, regardless of the reason for becoming a mom, ultimately results from love. A love so large that it makes all the other sacrifices seem small, and so intense that it makes the other person’s hurts become your hurts.

I think we can learn something from our moms. Sometimes the most important thing you can do is set the ball for someone else. We each have talents and gifts, but they are not the same. At Kimray, we do not value people differently based on their accomplishments; rather, we recognize the intrinsic value in each person and then find a place for them to use their gifts, talents, and current level of experience and skill.

We don’t need everyone spiking the ball. We need most people to set the ball for the next person down the chain. No one can spike if there aren’t people setting. Every task, every position, every job is critical to the success of the team.

Thank you, mom, (and all the moms who aren’t my mom) for making the choice to set the ball for us. We will honor you by learning from your example and serving those around us as you have served us. After all, that is not just the mom way, that’s The Kimray Way.