Happy Mother’s Day!I love my mom so much. When I was a teenager and so much smarter than her, we had rough times, but she has wised up considerably in the last quarter of a century! I’m so proud of all that has been learned, and grateful she gave me time to learn it.
My mom possesses an array of talents. I’ve been planning this tribute to her for quite a while, but actually composing it is so much harder than I expected. I’ve known her my whole life, and I owe so much to her, it has been hard to narrow down. I’ve tried to use a few categories to limit all I want to say. (I consulted my sister, Wendy, and my brother, Al for their ideas.)
ANIMALS–Mom has always loved animals. She had a horse while she was growing up–the source of some of her back problems currently. In her adult life she has owned fish, birds, a rabbit, cats, a dog and a squirrel. She rescued the stray dog by gaining his trust while she worked in her yard. Over time, she was able to pet him, brush him, bathe him, and he would follow her into the house. He bonded with her and loved her until he died.
The squirrel was tiny kit when she found it, but she researched how to care for it and fed it every couple of hours until it grew big enough to go longer stretches. They had a cage in the house for it as it grew and became more lively, and she released “Heather” as soon as she was able to fend for herself. However Heather came back to get treats almost daily. When she injured a leg, mom took her back in and even convinced the vet to prescribe steroids to help her heal! Mom released her again when she was well. It was a ritual of visiting mom to go out and look for Heather and give her pecans.
CREATIVITY–While necessity may be the reason for invention, my mom’s creativity is inspiring. She could take whatever we had and make it into something amazing. School projects could get out of hand because she came up with creative ideas for them. She sewed clothes for all of us, and I’m grateful she taught my sister and me. It’s one of the skills I fall back on out of practicality and fun.
She decorated the bedroom Wendy and I shared with fabric on one wall, before any designer thought of it. She let us select our sheets from the S & H Green Stamp catalog, then she decorated the room around them. The piece de resistance was the wall she covered with sheets, then used pom-pom fringe to cover the edges! We loved our room.
FAITH–Mom loved us enough to take us to church each week–not send us, but take us even when we didn’t want to go. We learned our faith in God from her. I remember her preparing lessons for her Bible classes and for Vacation Bible School each year. I don’t remember lectures about serving others, but her example taught more than words could.
FOOD–She’s a great cook, although she would prefer to get out of the kitchen any time she could. She knew where the discounts were every day of the week, so we could eat What-A-Burgers when they were half price each week. When we got our first microwave, she loved experimenting with it, cooking eggs and almost everything in it!
She made enormous pancakes with bacon in them, which we devoured. Wendy even had a couple of friends that would frequently sleep in their vehicle outside the house so they could have pancakes in the mornings!
She learned to decorate cakes when I was young, and made cakes professionally occasionally. We loved it because there is a bit of waste any time you level layers to decorate, and we got to take the scraps and left-over frosting and have fun, then eat the evidence!
The complexity of the wedding cakes she made increased over the years. She made a cake for my stepbrother that looked like a bale of hay and a cowboy hat. It was so realistic that many of the guests thought they were props–not an edible cake!
FUN–She led the way in having fun with us! Of course she played games with us and made sure we had a little pool in the back yard when we were little. She hosted wonderful, themed birthday parties, and always had fun food and great ideas when we had friends over, but she still hasn’t grown out of having fun any chance she gets.
She would get us small salamanders at the Texas State Fair each year, then use thread to tie tiny leashes around their necks, which she pinned to our shirts for Show And Tell! I could “wear” my pet to school, then place it in a box for the rest of the day.
We loved our family camping trips each summer. When we were little, the campsites were primitive–meaning no shower houses. We walked to the outhouses a couple of times each day, and my parents hauled water from the one pump in the camp site so we could cook and drink. Later, they added showers and toilets! I remember her washing the boat constantly. We put the boat in the lake as soon as we had removed all the camping items from it and left it anchored until it broke and had to be repaired or we were packing to leave. Mom spent time in the lake every day using lake water and a cleanser to clean it inside and out, wiping down the seats, dash, and hull, organizing the ski ropes and fishing equipment, then windexing the windshields.
Before my sister could drive, mom would take her and her friends to roll houses, and taught her how to shoe polish a window! (I’m hoping the statute of limitations is up so she won’t be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor!) One of Wendy’s friends would write on mom’s car windows in the evenings. Mom would go outside with the Windex and clean it off, then he would return and do it again, and again, and again…
LOVE–Mom loves us unconditionally. I know she was disappointed when we messed up and didn’t act or live as she taught us, but she loved us through it. It took a great amount of love to listen to the three of us practice various musical instruments.
She and my dad went to every high school football game while my sister marched in the band–that’s dedication and commitment. I’m sure she couldn’t possibly count the hours she spent chauffeuring three kids. Al got us hooked on soccer when he was young, then there were soccer practices and games for three of us. Each of us played a musical instrument, so there were concerts, practices, and lessons. We sometimes wanted to visit a friend, and the church activities and camps kept her on the go.
We were fortunate to have a great Parks and Recreation program in Irving, Texas, while we were growing up. We took music lessons, played sports, and swam at the local centers. When we were old enough, we rode our bikes to the summer activities, but mom always drove us to the evening lessons. She even drove me to gymnastics lessons in Euless for a while–that was a big time and money commitment, and I am so grateful she encouraged our interests and found a way to allow us to try so many different things.
I am so grateful for all the lessons you have taught me! Thank you for loving us all through our delightful teenage years, and helping us learn how to ADULT! Thank you for encouraging our diverse talents and encouraging us to follow our dreams!