Saturday, May 10, 2014

To you, Mom

Downtown with my mom 2012
 This post is for moms. This post is for my mom. 

My mom is Anne. She is 63 years young. My mom was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She's a preacher's daughter. She's in the middle of 5 kids. She's been a wife for almost 43 years. She is a hair stylist. She is a mom to 3 daughters and a grandma to 5 grandchildren. My mom is an artist, a writer, and great listener. She is a devoted friend. 

My mom stayed home with us when we grew up. I have memories of her making us forts out of blankets, cutting the crusts off my PB&J's, taking us to parks and loads of shopping trips. Like many moms, she sacrificed so much of herself for her children. She always made us a priority; so much so that I have a tendency to be somewhat self-centered (but this isn't about my shortcomings). :-)

I think she was tired a lot. She did it all.  I never even had chores. She ran our house and babysat a slew of kids at the same time. She never missed a single thing I was part of. She was a room mom, Campfire Girls leader, organized play dates and countless other social activities for me and my sisters.  She was always ready to give our hair the latest style and color--even if it was 10 PM and she was exhausted.  I don't even have many photos of us together because she was always taking the pictures (remember, pre-selfie days?!). When I was a senior in high school she chaperoned my class trip to Walden Pond in Massachusetts. It was the first time in my life I had her all to myself. I remember ordering Subway sandwiches for us to eat on the bus ride. I had to ask her what she wanted because I didn't even know what to order for her. To this day I am grateful for that trip. It was on that trip that I began to know her as a person--not just my mom. 
Having fun in Lake Cumberland

Over the years my mom and I have had our ups and downs--mostly ups, I think. But in all of it we are still so close. My mom was still the one I wanted near me when I became a mom. In those early days of motherhood when Elliot cried for 12 hours straight and maybe slept on and off another 10, I wanted my mom to tell me it was going to be OK. I looked to her for validation that I was doing something, anything, right. 

I can't begin to know how she did it all. She has always seemed to know the right thing to do, the right thing to say. To this day, I could ask her anything. I may not always want to hear what she has to say, but she's willing to listen and willing to share her experience, strength and hope with me. 

It's her dedication to me and to our family that's helped steer me toward being the kind of mom I strive to be. 

I hope on Mother's Day that she finds time to relax. I hope she finds moments to reflect on her own motherhood journey. I hope all moms do. We are all just trying to find our way, trying to do his mom thing the best we can. I think we need to encourage each other as women. We need to tell each other, as my mom has told me, "it's going to be OK. You're doing an amazing job."

Christmas 1978
One day we will be where I am today. I am grown and busy raising my own family. And one day my kids won't call as often as they want to. We might be separated by 500 miles, like I am with my mom. But with one call we will be connected.  When I get the chance to talk to my mom I am transported back to my younger years.  She's still my mom. 

On a day that celebrates mothers everywhere; I am a mom, but I am a daughter too. I will celebrate that. On Mother's Day I celebrate my mom and all that she is, and all that she will become. 

I love you Mom. 

“Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ” ― Elizabeth Stone.

Thanks for reading. Happy Mother's Day.