Wednesday, April 15, 2009
To my Mom ~ With Love
"There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings." ~Hodding Carter, Jr.
I couldn't have put together a better picture and quote. My Mom has given me and my sister both, wings and roots. My husband and I have built our lives here in the same town I grew up in. My sister on the other hand is getting ready to strike out on her own. I know this is a little early for Mother's day. But since it is coming up and my Mom's birthday is also next month I've been thinking a lot about her.
I always describe my Mom as one tough cookie. She never took much crap from me or my sister but was the first to volunteer to help someone out. So, she is more like a tough cookie with a gooey middle. The older I get the more my Mom and I can laugh about my upbringing. It wasn't always easy. But, honestly, there aren't many people that can say that their childhood was easy. My Mom had the double responsibility of being the Mom and the Dad for me and my sister. I look back now and I can see how every decision she made was with us in mind. Not HER..but us, me and my sister.
I think about how humbling it must have been for her to seek out other people for us to live with. But she did it with a mind to allow us to go to better schools, or to live in a better neighborhood. She did it because she couldn't do it on her own, and our well-being was more important to her than her own privacy. She often went without a room of her own, instead sleeping on the sofa. I think about all the overtime she worked. That wasn't fun money for her. No, that was all for us. New clothes, new shoes, sports, girl scouts, Christmas, birthdays. None of that stuff came cheap, but she did what she had to do to make sure we had it all.
I remember how MAD it would make me for her to demand that I tell her what was wrong when I was upset. I was a teenager..EVERYTHING upset me. I was fighting with so-and-so over such-and-such. It wasn't even important. But she would insist that I tell her, going so far as to threaten to ground me if I didn't tell her. It would drive me crazy, because..hello..my Mom couldn't POSSIBLY understand what I was going through. And she often had cheesy "mom" advise for me..about how I just needed to TALK to so-and-so and tell them how I feel. BUT, I can look back now and see where her heart was. She knew I was upset and wanted to help, wanted to fix it.
My Mom made the comment last night how she didn't know how we had survived her up-bringing. Things were not all rainbows and butterflies. My Mom was at full speed from the moment she got up to well after she put us to bed. She was juggling three jobs, two kids, all of OUR activities, and the bills. Even a two parent household might be a little tense with that sort of pressure. It's a miracle that she isn't bald from yanking her hair out.
So, my Mom is one tough cookie (with a gooey inside). She knows how to get the job done and doesn't do a lot of whining about it. And I can say, for a fact, that my sister and I not only survived her rearing, but have grown into two fabulous women BECAUSE of it.