...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Moms write on the blackboard of your soul

Motherhood means the world to me.

I looked forward to being a mom from the time I was tiny.  I didn't ask much more from life than to be somebody's mommy.  Luckily I ended up with six amazing somebody's that I get to mommy and I could not be happier with that.

I love to wander through the memories of my life as a mother, but not today.

Today I want to tell you about MY mom.

My mom gave birth to me when she was a whopping 22 years old and she had been married for just under a year.  What an adjustment I brought to her life.  I was the oldest of five children, and the only girl (which worked out nicely as I was never interested in frilly girliness, I was a tomboy if ever there was one).

My mom ran an in home daycare for most of my growing up life.  Because of that she has mothered literally hundreds of children over the years.  Some of them still stay in contact with her even though she hasn't seem them in ages.  She didn't always love raising other people's children (that is a hard job for sure), but she did it so that she could stay at home with us.  We weren't rich and instead of leaving us to go to work every day she chose to take the headache and planning of a housefull of kids (some hers and some not) by the horns to bring income home in a way that also let her greet us as we came home from school and hug us when we needed support RIGHT NOW!

My mom taught me to sing no matter what.  As a family we leaned to harmonize around the piano when we were very young.  My brothers and my dad are blessed with bEaUtIFuL singing voices, but I can at least carry a tune.  Mom signed us up to perform at ward parties and christmas shows and old folks homes so that we had something to prepare and work for.  We made the rounds for several  years and she created the shows we presented which often included unusual bits like gurgling water to a tune and playing a saw with a violin bow.  We also learned to play the spoons and jaws harp. 

Mom also expected us to work...hard.  She loved to take us to someone's garden (our grandma's, a neighbors, the LDS church's) and set us loose on the weeds.  We harvested peaches and tomatoes and cherries so that we could cart them home and spend hours canning them.  We were loaned out for ward and neighborhood projects because my mom wanted us to learn to do a job and do it well.  We had chores every day and were expected to help take care of our house.  It wasn't exactly my favorite thing growing up, but now I am glad for the whining and fussing she endured and the fact that she taught us to sing while we worked (it really does make the job go faster).

Mom taught us how to learn.  She often sent us to the dictionary or the encyclopedia (there was no wikipedia in those days) to find an answer to a question.  She taught us how to use the libaray (that was back in the time of the Dewey Decimal System) and how to search the scriptures for answers.  She encouraged us to be creative and think outside what was expected.  I remember that she let us help color relief society handouts (even when our coloring wasn't perfect), she expected us to learn to cook and she always read my stories and poems, even when they were horrible (which was often). 

She also respected our feelings.  I specifically remember as a pre-teen asking her to stop calling me her "baby doll" because it was embarrasing to me.  What a silly thing to care about, but she didn't argue with me, she didn't fuss or ignore me, she just stopped.  That's what a good mom will do.

Mom also planned the BEST vacations.  We did a lot of camping (there were not really developed campsites then, we just sort of pulled off the road in a place that was sort of flat and did the best we could...and we sure loved tromping through the woods) but we also visited Muir Woods, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park, Catalina Island, Disneyland, the Space Needle in Seattle and a host of other sites in the western United States.  We were always on a budget (we stayed in some of those fancy hotels that used to have the vibrating beds, do you remember those?  As a kid that feature seemed like luxury...yeah, awesome) but we always had a great time.  When we traveled, Mom made a fabric cabinet that hung over the seat of our Crown Victoria (a car that resembles a boat) with pockets galore each containing something to help entertain us.  She had wrapped surprises to open along the way at designated place and loads of those awesome "beep...turn the page" book/cassette tape combos to help pass the time.  Oh, and we sang a lot while in the car.  That I remember for sure.

I guess what I am really trying to ge across is that my mom was pretty incredible.  We never had a lot of things, but she put us first.  Her kids were her whole world and we knew it.  From her, I learned how to focus on what matters most and to let other things fall through my fingers without fighting too hard to hold on to them. 

She is a pretty amazing person, at least if you ask me.

Happy Mother's Day Mom.

My mom mothering my sweethearts as well.

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