#ELBlog #208: Mothers Day
I dedicate today’s blog to my Mom, Dorothy Marotta. I love my Mom–she is smart, strong, loving, and dedicated to me and our family. Here is one of the excerpts of my newest book, Tales from the Hardwood…a story about Mom. I so enjoyed having her come to the games I officiated back when I was a referee for college hoops. Here is a heartwarming story about my Mom. Enjoy & Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there.
When my Dad passed away back in 2008, I grew much closer with my Mom. My mom has always been a big part of my life and always there for me, and this grew, even more, after Dad passed. At least once a year since, she began to travel with me to different cities and events: Duke, Williamsburg, DC, Charleston, Syracuse, Boston, etc. I loved it all and it was a fun time for both of us. She met the other officials, the supervisors, etc. She was so cute collecting the tickets from each game, finding her way to will-call, buying a koozie for me at each location, and we bonded even more during a nice meal after each game.
As Mom and I grew closer, she also became a bigger fan of the game. She just didn’t casually watch basketball anymore, but she was watching what actually happened in the game: the time, space, score, and type of play. She began to know more and watch when I’d get a great play right or when I kicked one. It was kind of like she was reading my mind and hearing me talk to myself during the game.
I began to work more and more games that were scheduled for TV. She’d text in the afternoon about where I was, and then get going on her routine: finding the channel, getting her dinner plans set, if she had gear from that school she’d put it on, then she’d start calling her ever-growing circle of friends and families who also liked to watch my games. She knew she couldn’t put anything in writing to anyone, so she called every person each night. It kept her in touch with her friends and she enjoyed sharing the news of the games.
Leadership takeaway: It was a nice feeling knowing that Mom was watching. I always wanted to do an outstanding job and get plays right, yet it was a little more special knowing that Mom and her circle of friends were watching. It was almost like she was there with me in a way. I didn’t do anything different than I normally would, but it did add a little bit extra to my work. I wanted to make my Mom proud so maybe, subconsciously, I wanted to be a little better on those nights.
Remember the WWJD (What would Jesus do?) bracelets? People would wear them as a reminder to do good out in the world. When Mom was watching, I felt MWTGDG: “Mom’s watching the game, do good!” How would you act if your Mom watched you at work? If she studied your interactions with others and watched with a keen eye, every single decision you made? I enjoyed the challenge and was glad Mom was watching. I was ready and up for the challenge.
This continued with visits to my school in Port Jervis, NY, where I was Principal. She’d come visit for half a day, come to some classes, see the kids and staff, and again, watch me at work. I loved it and felt the proudest when people would tell her what a great job I was doing as Principal. Compliments are always nice, but when your Mom hears them about you, they’re the best! Be ready to work like Mom is watching! Thanks Mom for being there on all those special trips! #ShesfromBoston (she’s not really from Boston but we sang this Kenny Chesney song together the whole ride up to Boston!).
#LeadershipSparks: What Does Your Logo Represent?