Top that off with writer's brain, where I never see anything coming until it's on top of me, so the cards don't get mailed... and there's never any money, so flowers don't get ordered... but I was thinking Friday (scary, yes). What do I do that is straight from the heart and can be deeply personal... I write. So this is for my mom.
|I'm always amazed how young she was: 19 here (I was 6 mo)|
I think it's really easy, when we are young, to make assumptions and judgments about our parents.
We are sure we would do this or that a different way.
But when we become parents ourselves... or as we pass life stages... and think about our moms...
Sometimes there are moments of awe.
My mom became a mom at 18 years old.
She had finished high school, but that is pretty much all.
She married my dad...
who lived another 11 years, but never DID grow up...
so she had two kids in a lot of ways (one of them capable of drinking his entire paycheck in a weekend).
She stepped up...
cared for me...
but in retrospect, what amazes me most is I never ONCE felt like the burden, that surely a child is when you have one at 18.
I never felt ANYTHING but loved and adored.
|looking for an escape, I imagine...|
but my intelligence was encouraged
my need to speak my mind, nurtured
I was scolded if I was unkind... or if I broke rules or laws...
At four, I had to march back in to the Nobby Inn and pay for a mint because I'd taken it without asking (or paying)... the mortification kept me from EVER stealing.
I wasn't scolded though, for not conforming... I was never pressed to 'be like' anyone (or to better anyone).
Oh, sure, there was a lot I absorbed from my peers,
but never ONCE did my mom try to compare me...
to ANYONE. I was always solidly ME, and loved for that.
|This was my dad's favorite picture of 'his girls'|
When my dad died, I was 10, and my mom gave me another invaluable gift.
She went back to school.
The lesson that education is the route to a better life stuck.
The lesson that succeeding requires HARD WORK stuck.
The lesson it's never too late stuck. And any subject can be conquered... stuck.
The lesson that if we schedule the work time, we then actually have the play time stuck.
|Before braces, but AFTER gap-consciousness|
But we still managed a few great vacations... live lean, then splurge... we went to Disneyland, Hawaii... then on our spring break ski trip in 8th grade, she met Art. My stepdad is pretty great, because my mom's primary flaw is she takes everything too seriously, and he keeps her 'light'... makes it 'fun'.
Those lessons though... don't waste, don't use more than you need... man, I wish I was better at instilling those in my family... but I think they are good lessons, even if my skill to pass them on seems to be nil... I know I asked for a lot... but I also felt some responsibility for it... I SAW what was given up in exchange...
|It was sometimes hard to have the 'hot mom' she was 31 here, I was 12|
I think there are some lessons we don't notice when we absorb them... but looking back, we see them at work. Had my mom ever threatened and said 'you know if your grades drop...' the rebel in me would have responded badly... but she'd laid the groundwork. She didn't need to say it.
|The last 4-Generation Photo--3 moms here... 2004|
So mom, THANK YOU! You did an amazing job! (I mean just look at me *cough*) But seriously... trying to parent myself makes the things you did well SO much clearer. I love you!
I wish all you mom's a very happy mother's day!