Thursday, May 7, 2015

Blog #184: About my Mom.

Since mother’s day is coming up, I wanted to say a few things about the mom I’m lucky enough to have. There is no one way to really convey how my siblings and I have truly won the Mom Lottery and there isn’t enough time in the world or space on the internet to fit in everything that makes her so amazing. I’m going to try anyway.

When I was about 12 or 13 and helping my mom with dinner I was being careless and accidentally knocked our glass salt shaker to the floor causing it to break even after being told by mom to slow down and be careful.  Mom scolded me, had me clean up the mess, and find a backup salt shaker to use for the meal. I was frustrated and sullen (as 13 year olds are wont to be) but finished helping. When we sat down for dinner, my stepdad asked what happened to the salt shaker, and I braced myself to be further berated for my clumsiness. Mom told him that it had broken and when he said “well how’d that happen?” she did something curious. Mom told him that SHE had dropped it. He just shook his head and the conversation moved on. Now, this is just a very small thing and I don’t know if my mom even remembers it (do you, Mom?) but I have never forgotten it. Because even at 13 I could tell that though the gesture and circumstance were very small, the meaning and lesson behind it were big. In taking ownership of my mistake, my mom taught me about showing grace (not how to be graceFUL… I’m afraid that ship has long sailed for both of us).  

I remember when Will & Kate got married. Mom and I were beside ourselves with excitement. Obviously, London is hours ahead of us so watching the live broadcast would be cumbersome – but we did. I got up and went over at 2:30am so we could be ready to watch the broadcast at 3. Mom had a continental breakfast of bagels and fruit and other goodies set out and the 3 of us (well, 2.5 – Madi fell asleep in the middle) watched and ooohed and awed at the dresses and the hats and the beauty of it all. We still follow the Royal Family very closely and have delighted in both new additions nearly as much as we delight in the additions in our own family (they ARE our own family).

On a day in December every year until we couldn’t anymore due to her move, my  mom and I held Christmas Baking Day. The list of things we wanted to make grew longer and longer each year as we would discover new recipes to try but not be willing to drop any of the classics. We would start in the morning by making the list of what we were making and the ingredients we needed. Then, we would go to the store and get everything including our delivery tins. Inevitably one of us had to make a supplemental store run later in the day for something ridiculous like peppermint extract or buttermilk. Then, we turned on Christmas tunes and baked goodies into the night – it was usually at least 10pm before all was said and done and clean and packed in tins to give away. By then our feet and backs were aching and we vowed we would cut the list down next year.  I still do baking day even though mom’s in TX. My sister and I have made it our own.

After my first serious relationship ended suddenly, I called my mom at 10pm crying. She got dressed and drove over to my apartment and let me just cry while she sat with me.

Goodness… I could go on forever. Prepare for a slew of awesome:
My mom got her college degree AND her Master’s degree while working in a high level position, taking care of a family that included a very young child, and still managed to make it to my soccer games, cross country meets, and choir concerts. She worked her way from the bottom to the top of a company where very few women succeed and then when a transition became inevitable, handled it with her head held high.  She is strong, smart, independent, and hilarious. This high level educated executive often stops to randomly pose with mannequins and has never seen a picture being taken she didn’t want to photo bomb. She drops everything when her family needs her and is FIERCE in protecting and defending the people she loves. This kind, good hearted, loving woman will literally SHRED you if you hurt her family. I don’t know if Mom ever needed to spell out to me that doing the right thing is important because she always just showed me by doing the right thing herself. She taught me to send thank you cards and to apologize well. She taught me to celebrate the joys in life. She threw herself a 50th birthday party because she was grateful for health and life and because she could. She taught me that “We don’t say shut up in this family.” And “The greedy pig gets slaughtered” and “A good cook always cleans up as she goes”. I got her nose, her smile, and her sense of (or lack of) direction and difficulty with time zones.  Every now and then one of us will call the other for the 3rd or 4th time in a day and just say “now what are you doing?” We like to watch Dateline “together” by texting throughout. Because of the example my mom sets, I know about loyalty, unconditional love, and thumping. For my 30th birthday she made a special trip to KC to surprise me with flowers and a dinner with all my family. Phew, overwhelmed yet? Look at this amazing nonsense:

Oh, and she’s like, a total babe. Anytime anyone tells me that I look like my mom I always say thank you or “I’m lucky that way.” Even better, if I say something and someone tells me it sounds like something she would say it’s the best compliment. Thanks for being mom, Mom.

By the way, mom regularly drops weekly wisdom and/or hilarity on her blog - check her out if you haven't. 

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