Clyde Davis: Local columnist
There was the time when she showed up at one of my high school wrestling matches. It was a very normal event, you see, for my father to show up for matches, both high school and college. He was likely to show up whether I was competing or not, for he enjoyed watching the sport regardless of who was on the mat.
She showed up that day, however, because my dad could not be there for one reason or another. You need to understand that the standard joke among wrestlers was (maybe still is) that you can count on your parents and girlfriend showing up — if it’s a real boring day and there is absolutely nothing else going on. Watching a real wrestling match — not the muscle-bound TV bozos — is about as exciting as watching grass grow, unless you are the one wrestling.
So anyway, she showed up because my dad wasn’t able to be there and she wanted to support her firstborn son. She had no idea what was going on — I wrestled all through high school and college and she never figured out what was going on. She showed up anyway, because it was important to her.
She went through a lot with me, having once expressed the opinion that I should have been kept in a cage between the ages of 16 and 22. Reflecting on those years and the events that occurred, I would have to say I understand her viewpoint. My dad was more prone to take a “boys will be boys” attitude, but maybe that is typical.
I don’t know exactly what she went through when I was diagnosed with cancer, or during Desert Storm, or while I was stationed in New York and we received warnings every day concerning Bosnia, though we never did go. I have only implications that these were very difficult times for her. She was never one to invoke self pity as a way of control.
Not being an athlete herself, she has never understood why it’s important to swim to Kelley’s Island, or make plans to climb Pike’s Peak, or bike in the Ride for the Roses, or backpack the Alleghenies.
This is where she diverges from my dad, and in some sense has given more than him. You see, he understands these things, and the fact that she doesn’t understand them but has been supportive of them anyway — well, that’s a little further leap of logic for her.
So from her there comes this piece that writes because I want to, just as from my dad, comes the piece that is drawn to the joy of using one’s body athletically. We are blends of our parents — plus many pieces that are neither of them. In some ways I appreciate her more than I do my dad, simply because she has had to make more leaps of logic and bend further to understand me, being far more different from me than is my male parent.
Okay, so she recently (like, a year ago) expressed the opinion that my theme song should be “I’m No Angel.” Hey, what mom doesn’t think that about her son?
Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University. He can be contacted at