When you think of comfort and home, what is the first thing that pops into your mind? For most of us, it’s Mom. Sorry Dads, but usually the first face in our minds is Mom. You’re there too, but Mom epitomizes home. Perhaps it is because there are so many things that Mom’s do IN the home to make our memories of growing up so special. Maybe it’s different for sons, but I know as a daughter, that is how it is for me.
This is my Mom holding me when I was pretty new to the world. Isn’t she beautiful? It is always intimidating and scary to have a baby – especially your first baby – but to go into labor early with a premature baby, when your husband is so far away in Vietnam serving our country is definitely not something I think Mom dreamed of as she grew up. Moms are strong people though, and mine had the added benefit of having my Grandma’s courage and strength running in her veins. For the first 6 months of my life it was my mother and me, bonding in a special way that has grown with time until we find ourselves at nearly 50 and 70 (goodness, those numbers are scary!) with our bond stronger than ever. My day doesn’t feel right if I don’t talk to Mom at least once. Usually my commute home is spent chatting with Mom . . . it’s “our” time. If she’s on the phone to someone else when I call, or I’m on the phone with someone else who has called me, by the time I get home it just doesn’t seem right.
I have spent quite a bit of time over the last few days trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to say about Mom to give you the true picture of what a special woman she is, but somehow sharing a feeling is proving to be very difficult to me for some reason. My Mom is the epitome of mothery – does that make sense? She is comfort, strength, acceptance and hugs. She is laughter and fun, she is a combination of shy and bold that is somewhat surprising sometimes. She wants to take care of those she loves, and the very act of that caring wraps anyone around her up in a cloak of comfort, and the joy of knowing that you are someone special in her life. My Mom is fairness embodied. Each of her grandchildren is equal in her eyes, and it would nearly double her over with grief if she for one moment thought one of them felt slighted in favor of another. She raised me that everyone should be treated the same – and to this day, even with my kids fully grown, I cannot bear the thought of inequality for birthdays or Christmas. At the same time, if you make Mom mad . . . look out. She’s funny when she’s angry – not funny haha, but funny LOOK OUT! When Mom is angry she gets quiet. . . very, very quiet. If she STOPS talking, that’s when trouble is brewing. I remember as a kid growing up, when Mom got quiet we knew someone was in for it and we’d try to scatter and get out of the way. She didn’t often spank us, so that wasn’t a fear, but to have her be mad meant she was disappointed in something we’d done, and that was almost worse than a paddling would have been. Not that we didn’t get paddled for whatever it was we’d done – but she’d sic Dad on us when he got home from work! Double the punishment! Honestly, I’m sure when my brother and I were kids we made her angry – I’m a Mom – I know it’s impossible to raise kids without getting angry with them from time to time – but those aren’t the times that stand out.
What stands out are the best picnic lunches in the world when we went on family outings, and of course the best school lunches in the school. What I think of is the sparkle she put in every holiday, and the special way she made us feel on our birthdays – and still does. What comes to mind is the hugs and good-night prayers before bed, the gentle way she blew on our skinned knees as she cleaned them up and put the band aid on them. I think of fresh baked sugar cookies with gooey delicious frosting, the best rice crispy cookies EVER and quite honestly, the most amazing popcorn balls anyone ever ate. Mom makes me think of walking on the beach and picking up shells, laughing in the snow as the flakes fell on our faces, running through the rain and splashing in the puddles. I think of matching hair ribbons to my clothes, and tea parties with my dolls. Mom . . . she is all the great things in the world rolled up into one perfectly wonderful woman . . . a woman I am fortunate enough to have for my Mother, who taught me all I could ever need to know about being a Mother myself.
I love you Mom.