Mothers. We all have them. I happen to have an amazing one who I love very much. It is no secret that when I was a little girl, I was a total mama's girl. To this day I am reminded by family members how I wouldn't go anywhere without my mama or if I did, I was usually in tears because she wasn't there. Don't get me wrong, I love my whole family, but did they lug me around in their bellies for 40 weeks? I think not. It's only fitting that my loyalty lie with the person who brought me into this world. Mom and I have always had a good relationship. Even during the tumultuous teen years. Well, I think that we have...perhaps she should weigh in on the matter too. I can only remember getting a spanking once. Actually it's not so much the spanking I remember at all, it is the homemade icee's (Sprite and Coke) that she made for me afterwards. Sure, there are times when we have differences of opinions and that has always been the case (see picture below...I wasn't so sure that curly hair was as fitting for her as it was for me). However I give her credit for my rather fierce independence and somewhat opinionated personality. She has raised me to have a mind of my own and for that, I am very thankful. But while I was encouraged to always think for myself, she instilled in me the importance of being kind to others even if they have different views. So I attribute my sense of compassion to her as well.
I do believe that the good Lord knew that I would need a mother with the kind of personality that mine has. She is one of the most laid-back persons I know. Sometimes I envy that about her. Why didn't I inherit that trait?!? Whether I was upset because there was a thunderstorm raging outside or I was stuck in a tree with seemingly no way to get down, Mom was always right there to calm me down and protect me when I was little. I can't imagine how difficult it is for mothers to watch their children grow up and let them go knowing that there are much bigger things in the world that they must be protected from. This is where faith is so important. Mom's faith is one to be admired. She has always taught me that God is in control and that we must trust in Him in all things.
When I was in college, some of my friends thought it was so bizarre that I talked to Mama on the phone as much as I did. Perhaps it wasn't so much the frequency that they thought bizarre but the time of day in which we had most of our conversations. I usually never called before 11:00 at night. More often than not, it was much later than that. In fact it's 11:06 pm, and I'm on the phone with her right now. The habit of talking to her on the phone started when I was very young. I stayed with my grandmother, Mumu, after mom went back to work and each day I would talk to her on the phone. As I was going through my photo albums to find these pictures this is only one of many with a phone stuck to my ear. No doubt about who was on the other end of the line if it was taken at Mumu's house. I'm so thankful that I have a Mama who has never put parameters on when it was too late to call home or made me feel like I can't bother her by calling while she is at work. She has always put her children before the important things like sleep and work and always made it clear that we are our first priority. It probably helps that she has the uncanny ability to fall back to sleep in less than 1/10 of a second too. Err...when I call during the middle of the night...not while she's at work! Rarely a day goes by when I don't talk to her. Even if it's just for a minute or two. I'm completely grown but I don't think that children ever outgrow the comfort that results from knowing that they have parents who are always there for them.
My relationship with Mom has changed throughout the years but that is to be expected considering I have grown up into adulthood. I no longer get in trouble for talking back (ok, well, maybe I do sometimes) nor do I cry when she isn't in my direct line of vision. Thank goodness I outgrew that one. However there are some things that have not changed...she is still my constant cheerleader and always a voice of reason. We have always had fun together. She's the fun one in the family so it's only natural that I have fun with her. One of my favorite memories from childhood is when dad would go hunting, she and I would have girls weekends. She let me do her hair, nails and make-up and we would have slumber parties in the living room. We've even gotten to travel to some pretty fun places together, Boston and Vegas, over the past few years. I value the relationship that I have with Mama more with each passing year. When I hear people talk about how they never see their mom or don't have a good relationship with their mom, it makes me all the more thankful for the good one I have been given. Although I was a good kid by most accounts, I know that raising me probably wasn't the easiest task in the world. As an adult I can see how during the times when my little world was falling apart (let's be honest, little girls are just mean to each other) and I was crying to her, I'm sure her heart was breaking even more than mine was. Yet she never let on because she had to be strong and tell me that it would be ok. And you know what, she was right. It was.
I believe that a mother's love for her children is the closest humans will ever get to unconditional love. Only God can love us unconditionally, but a mama's is pretty close. I think this ability that mothers have to love their children so much is also one of the things that makes their job so hard sometimes. How heartbreaking when a child disobeys or makes a poor decision. How scary when a child breaks a bone or goes off to college. But how rewarding when a baby lights up upon seeing his or her mom enter the room or when something great happens and she is the first to know. How proud moms must feel when their children show kindness and love towards others or scores the winning run in a ballgame. I pray that one day I will be given the opportunity to have and raise children of my own. It is my hope that I will be the kind of mother to them that mine is to me. She is such a good example of all that a good and loving mother should be, and I'm so thankful that she is mine! Happy Mother's Day.