When I was 11 years old, my mom and I were the best of friends. When I was in high school, we weren’t quite as connected, but we were still close. My friends loved to come to my house and chat with her, and some of them still call her “Mom.” When I was in college, she would drive from Seattle to Portland and back in one day, just to attend a choir concert. When I had children of my own, she fed and bathed them as babies, read to them (and listened to them read) as toddlers, and chauffered them to doctor and orthodontic appointments and back once they reached school age (she’s still doing this).
Now, I’ll be the first to say this is not unusual mother/grandmother behavior. But if you knew my mom’s story, you’d realize she had no model for this kind of nurturing. She was the product of a broken home during the Depression, and she and her brother were shuttled between foster homes – to the point where she attended thirteen different schools before she graduated from 8th grade.
Yet my mother was married to my father for almost 44 years – until he passed away in 2003. She managed to raise all five of us kids in a pretty normal home, where dinner was eaten at the table, and birthdays were celebrated with homemade cakes and freedom from chores. She was a stay-at-home mom until I was 13, which meant she was always there to take care of us when we were sick, and she knew all of our friends and their moms.
Our family certainly wasn’t perfect – we have skeletons rattling around in our closets, just like everyone else – but my mom always seemed to be right in the middle of whatever we kids were involved with. I’ve always known I’ve had her support, and she’s still there whenever I need her (and even sometimes when I don’t, which is when we can still clash). She’s also there for the grandkids, as she’s been for them since the day they were born.
Mothers’ Day may be over, but it’s never a wrong time to appreciate one’s mom. And I certainly appreciate mine.
(She’s a subscriber to this blog – supportive as always!)
I love you, Mom!