Saturday, May 10, 2008

All I know I learned from my mother

This is my mom:

I love her!
My mom gives me all kinds of articles to read that she has cut out of her magazines and newspapers. Few I read, some I toss, most are in a pile mentally labeled, "read these soon 'cuz mom thought of me when she read them". She left me one recently that was honoring mothers and everything they had taught their kids. My mom doesn't think that she's taught me much, but that's just plain silly. Here's what I've got:
I've learned to take care of myself through her example. As a single mother, she worked hard to support us. She didn't necessarily love her job, but it enabled her to take off when she needed to and provided us with sufficient funding to live. When I was in high school she decided to quit and apologized to me since she would not be able to afford all the things we had been used to. It didn't matter to me and I learned to work for what I needed. I really cherished the one pair of Guess jeans I owned.
I learned how to fulfill my callings to the best of my ability (again, through her example). Maybe it's just because we are converts, but we read the requirements in the church books when we are sustained to a new calling. She was or still is the magazine rep. for her ward. When she read what the calling entailed she found out that she was supposed to attend a certain meeting. When she went, the other people in attendance had no idea that it was part of her calling. They were happy to have her, and grateful that she was doing all she could. As the secretary in Primary, the rest of the (mothers-of-small-children) Presidency were overwhelmed by her generosity of time and treats. They hesitated when she wanted to give thank-you treats to the children that participated in sharing time until my mom said she would do all the preparations and purchase all the treats. That was the way she intended it to begin with; it was no big deal to her.
I learned that things don't have to be perfect to be good. My mom is anything but a perfectionist. I love that! If you make a cake and it flops, oh well, it still tastes good. This is how I feel about a clean house. Unfortunately, in her old age, she has become a little tidier than I. She is slow to point out my messiness, and even slower to pitch in and clean it up for me. (I think this jumps back to the "take care of yourself" clause). She has, on occasion hired a cleaning lady for me. Aaah, what a joy.
It's OK to break tradition. Although my mom has tried very hard to start traditions, I think she is doing it because she reads about what everyone else does. I wish that she would just realize that our non-traditional ways are even better than doing the same old thing time and time again. To this day, my favorite Thanksgiving was spent with just her and I. I was in high school and we had received several invitations to several different dinners. Knowing that I was overworked and under stress she asked me what I wanted to do. We took a tiny turkey or chicken to the park with some of Grandma's stuffing and relaxed under the shade of a tree. Notice that I don't even know for sure what we ate?!
I don't know if it is a personality trait or ability, or if assimilation is a learned behavior. Either way, my mom and I are pretty good at it. You could dump either of us off in just about any situation, country, gathering, etc. and we wouldn't act like bumbling fools. In fact, we would have a great time learning something new. She was much better at this before her hearing went out; now she smiles and nods a lot, relying on me to do the hearing.
I'm not afraid of change, I like new ideas, and appreciate forward thinking. At 60 years old my mom: got a computer; learned to use her email; and, with any luck, will be able to read this post when I send her the link. My mom is the queen of all the new ideas in Prevention magazine. She will eat blueberries because a new study says they have anti-oxidants. She will stop eating them because a newer study says they turn your skin blue. (Alright, I really don't have a good example of the crazy stuff she does...mostly because there is something new each week!) When I suggested she see a chiropractor she did. Now, she does a crazy hola dance when she gets out of her car because the chiropractor said it would help with her hip problems.
I LOVE popcorn. I could eat it for dinner. Ooops, I have. When it was just the 2 of us at home sometimes we would pop up a bunch and eat to our heart's content. Now that I'm a mom I realize what a relief it would be if my kids asked me to make them popcorn for dinner. I think I've suggested it, but only once have they fallen for it. Their loss.
Most of all, my mom will (hopefully) see this post as an honorable tribute to her! I've revealed things that could embarrass her, but she will smile gracefully and acknowledge that I am trying to be sweet. Isn't it enough that I walked down the street with her in the above outfit?! Please note that I did buy her a new sun-hat for Mother's Day.
Happy Mother's Day!


Monique said...


Your post was very touching. It is nice to reflect on who we are because of the people who helped shape us.

The Turley Times said...

Now we know why you are as wonderful as you are (and how wonderful your daughters will be!) What a beautiful tribute to your mom.

H said...

Corrections/comments from my mom!And I quote, or copy/paste from her email:

Well now, I liked your blog on me even tho you told the world:) Interesting to know the things that you recall. Made a copy for my memory book (folder) if it ever gets done. Maybe you did exaggerate a little? Like when I quit my job it wasn't forever and you didn't have to totally support yourself. I went back to work in 3 months just not as much pay which meant we couldn't eat out as grandly as we had.
So now you want me to clean your house? I don't even clean mine the way I should as you point out when the girls come over in stocking feet and their feet get filthy:)
I am glad you remember that Thanksgiving. We did have all the trimmings by the way but you were too worn out to notice. And just for the record the turkey was provided by Thomas and Temcon. They always smoked a turkey and gave each employee but Rita wouldn't accept a smoked turkey so he brought it to us. Now I am remembering things. OK, so I will quit worrying about traditions (although I still think they are nice) and go with the flow.
I was 70 when I got the computer, not 60.
So you can see I did master reading your blog but I am not commenting on it (If I could even figure it out).