I am my mother’s son, not a mama’s boy but my mudder’s son. At 93 she still strong, never spent a day in hospital, eight children delivered home, all living and healthy, she brain still ticking, tongue sharp like a butcher’s knife, still climbing staircases like a trouper and can recall anything from de 1930s to now. She lost she last sister at 96, last brother at 91, another went to nearly 97, so de Vendor as de first born hoping dat them genes pass on and I claiming my share! Mothers special, especially to their boy children! De truth is yuh does learn plenty from them. From early I learn that investing in real estate was a good thing; a little house here, a next one there, small steps at first, but collect yuh rent pun time – otherwise yuh got trouble! My mother was always strict. Don’t bother to think ’bout nuh beach pun Sundays until after Mass and Sunday School at St Patrick’s Cathedral; then beach, if yuh lucky. Mek a slip and de hammer coming down. “Your soul better belong to the Lord because your *** belong to me” signalled yuh in big trouble! Mum had some little houses and part of my duties was collecting de rent. A famous man named Harry Wills use to rent one of de houses for ladies in his employment at his well known Bay Street club Harry’s Nitery, visited by famous people from the world over. Years ago I get invite to a CNN conference in Atlanta and meet de great man Ted Turner and he then wife Jane Fonda. Ted say: “I love Barbados. I love that nightclub called Harry’s Nitery, love that place!” I never knew fuh sure what went on there ’cause I was too young to enter. When I was old enough as a good Catholic boy, I did not yield to the temptation but ah would lie iffing I didn’t tell yuh dat I was curious. Frequently, me and Tony Selby, he siblings and friends would sit pun he patio in Bay Street and be gazing across and looking through de Nitery windows hoping to catch a piece of de action, and every now and then he father Uncle Bertie or mother Auntie Cynthia would come and check pun what we doing! Before mum would send me fuh de rent, she would mek a phone call to de ladies in de house, warning them to put on some clothes because she son was coming to collect de rent. How yuh could do dat to a 15-year-old boy child, Mum? You know how much pain yuh cause yuh son? After all, de days hot and dem girls only want to cool off. I got news fuh Mum, though: them girls didn’t always listen to she. Mum taught me to respect everyone nuh matter yuh status, but mek sure dem respect you too. I learn logic early. A classic was, “Boy, I may not be always right but I am never wrong!” Mothers are special people. Dem does shape and mould we; them does protect de young and nurture them. Lord, help de person who threaten a son. The best comeback I have ever heard came from a mother, big pregnant, accosted by a man with a loud voice trying to impress de crowd. He said: “Ah girl, I see a man get yuh pregnant” (he use a different word). Without missing a beat, this frail mother replied: “Yes, is true a man get me pregnant. But who get yuh mother pregnant to have a puppy like you?” I, Market Vendor, gone fuh now. You have a blessed and a wonderful day, yuh hear?