Thursday, May 24, 2012

Birthdays are really about moms

I spent three hours yesterday writing a post, but this is not that post. If you want to see that post you should come back Saturday. It is a birthday retrospective, and since Saturday is my birthday that is when it will be posted. Duh.

Still it took me about three hours to write it, because I was writing about me and I have a lot to say about me. Today's post is not about me, but I could spend infinite amounts of time writing about this person and still have more to say. I doubt I will ever do justice with my words to her, but I will do my damnedest to try.

Isn't she pretty?
Today I want to talk about my mom.

You might have noticed there wasn't really a Mothers Day post, and there most likely won't be until I myself am a mother. Don't get me wrong, I love my mom and think moms in general are fabulous, I just work Mothers Day every year and am really bad about remembering to write posts in advance. I was the last kid to call mom on Mothers Day since I didn't have phone signal until well after 9 at night, but I got that call in none the less.

Really though I do not think Mothers Day is the most appropriate day to show appreciation to your mother. Everyone does because it is expected. I have never been one for liking forced shows of affection, it is why I don't celebrate Valentines Day, and the husbeast only buys me 'Tuesday'* flowers.

I believe that the day you should most show appreciation to your mother is on your own birthday. Come on guys that day would mean nothing to us without them. They are the ones who did all the hard work to get you here. All you did was show up. Sure some of us made more dramatic entrances or had more difficulty than popping out like a slice of toast screaming our heads off. Still they did the work.

So my mom. What can I say about her? Honestly I have been pondering over this post for several weeks now and have not come up with a good answer to that question. There is plenty to say, and perhaps that is the problem. There are too many cool things to say about this woman, who is my hero.

I am just going to have a stream of consciousness list of the amazing things I see in my mom and call it good. Mom I know you are getting all squishy right now, and I know telling you not to cry would be as pointless as telling you not to cry when they play Pomp and Circumstance at the twins graduation on Saturday, but you know whatever.

- My mother is the most creative human I have ever met. I am pretty much convinced there is nothing she can not do. I remember I was in high school and I came downstairs one day and she was crocheting. I had never seen my mother crochet, and in fact was fairly certain that she had told me that her grandmother had tried to teach her when she was young and she never got the hang of it. Here she was though with a little pile of crocheted tiles building up beside her.

Her explanation for this new found skill? She dreamed that her grandmother showed her how again and she woke up knowing just what to do. I don't know if her brain pulled out a long forgotten memory and finally decided to pay attention, or if Great Grandma Emma visited her in her dreams and gave her a ghostly tutorial, but she could crochet.

Over the years I have seen my mother make paper from lint, do stained glass work, etch glass, build everything from walls to bird houses to furniture, cross stitch, paint, picture transfers, make jewelery, glue tie dye, tea staining, make clothing, refinish antiques, make candles, and about a million other things. Crafting runs in her veins.

Why yes that is Vodka she is pouring into a china tea cup.
- My mother has always been the cool mom. This sort of ties in with my last point. When we were growing up she was the mom who went out of her way to make our house the destination spot. Whether it was handing out popsicles** on a hot summer day, or creating the coolest project to do at a sleepover, she was always right there with something.

The neighborhood kids growing up always wanted to play at our house. When we got older our friends loved hanging out at our place because my mom was just so damned cool.

- My mother is the strongest woman I know. I am not going to list all of the crazy shit she has gone through in her life, but suffice it to say most people would have given up a long time ago. She has faced challenges that would make most people break down in tears. She has endured lasting pain that would make the strongest of men buckle. She has shouldered burdens that would have made a Buddhist monk snap like a twig.

I know some days it is hard for her, but somehow she just keeps going with poise and grace. I am pretty sure she started crying about two sentences ago and is saying that she is anything but poised and graceful right now, but she would be wrong.

- My mother is a firecracker. Do not cross my mother. Ever. She may be easy going, and laugh away more than a few things, but when you incur her wrath woe be unto you. She is fiercely protective of those she loves and will defend them until the end whether they are right or not.

When we were in middle school my brother stuck a paperclip in the electric socket on a science lab table and blew the damn thing up. The assistant principle of course wanted to suspend my brother and charge my mother for damages. My brother swore it had been an accident and my mother went in to try and calmly talk some reason into the man. Surely you can't be so harsh on the kid if it was an accident.

Lets just say that maybe my mother dropped that poise and grace thing I was talking about earlier, and let the assistant principal have a piece of her mind. My brother was not suspended and that little man never bothered us again. We still aren't sure if my brother was guilty or not, but my mother was going to stand by him no matter what.

In another incident with my brother, what do you want I was the good kid, she went to a meeting with a school councilor and firmly stood her ground that my brothers imaginary friend Bob the 6' African king beetle was real. Mostly because the councilor was a condescending jackass, but still she did it. My brother was 14 at the time.

Pretty much all administrators lived in fear of my mother because she was going to get what was best for her children. All I had to do was walk into the councilor or assistant principals office and ask them if they wanted me to call my mother, and suddenly I could have pretty much anything I wanted.

-My  mother loves harder than anyone I have ever known. The love she has for me and my siblings, for daddy, for her sister, her nieces, her family and friends in general, is overwhelming. She would do anything for us and we all know it.

There were ants, that is why I am making the face I swear.

I hope that I am half the woman my mom is and continue to be so. I think often as I do things that I hope my mom will be proud of me for what I am doing. If I have even a fraction of her strength, talent, tenacity, grace, dignity, poise, and heart, then I am a truly lucky woman.

So as my 31st birthday comes into view, I would like to say thank you to my mother. Thank you for going through all the pain and effort to bring me into this world. Thank you for spending all those years raising me and turning me into the woman I am today. Thank you for giving me goals to strive for. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for being my mom.

And please stop crying now.

*Tuesday flowers are like Tuesday gifts. They are given for no reason other than you wanted to give them. If you needed an excuse you could say, 'Well it is Tuesday.' Thus the name.

**I have no idea how to spell this word and my spell check insists it is not real no matter how I try and spell it. How weird is that?


  1. I'm supposed to be making the 100 pompoms for the twin's softball game tonight instead of reading facebook and your blog, though I'm not sure if I'll be able to get it done with the tears running down my face, sure hope you don't make me cut off a finger while trying to cut wood and cry at the same time. 

    I cannot begin to thank you for the kind, beautiful words you wrote about me, I'm so flattered, and honored.  But, more than that, I would turn this entire blog around and state the same about you, and your siblings, because I think you are all the most amazing kids a mom could ever have.  You all, every single one of you, have such great talents, I'm amazed every single day just sitting back and watching each of you as you grow into your own worlds.  When I had to go through my own "empty nest" period of life, the biggest thing I was worried about was what purpose did I have left in this world if I didn't have any more children to raise.  What I learned was that you all didn't leave me, but, we  have a different kind of relationship, and I do still have purpose in this world.  It is because of you that I strive to be better, to continue to go, to put one foot in front of the other and never stop moving, no matter how much it may physically hurt.  You all give me the incentive to keep going.

    I will try to do what I taught you to do, and accept your praise with dignity, and simply say thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    Oh, and p.s., I do think now that your brother was guilty of the paper clip incident, however, after the vice principal accidently shot a rubber band at me while trying to tell me that your brother never could have accidently dropped that paper clip, well, let's just say he probably doesn't nervously play with rubber bands any longer :) 

  2. Your mom isn't the only one who got squishy while reading this post. Maybe it's just a mom thing.  :: sniff ::