Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Mother and Her Babies

All I wanted to be when I grew up was a mama. I had no back-up plan until I was 13. Then I was going to be a large animal vet. Then in high school I discovered that I was a good teacher, so that became the plan...there were a few other changes, but that ended up sticking. But regardless of the plans that came and went, wanting to be a mama was the only constant.

And you want to know why I wanted to be a mama? Because mine was so good.

We made each other crazy. There is no denying that. She made me have a nervous breakdown about once a week, and I am sure I returned the favor, but it was behind closed doors. She never, not once, made me feel like a stress, a disappointment, or a frustration.

I know that I was a mystery to her, we were not alike in our wiring make-up...but she even found ways to coddle my biggest issues. Instead of allowing me to chew the snot out of the car seats and my clothes, she let me chew on her glue sticks before they made it to the hot glue gun. She let me wear the same 4 Ocean Pacific shirts and 2 pairs of jeans my entire 6th grade year, washing them regularly so I could. I flat refused to wear uncomfortable shoes, so she would break-in shoes for me. No lie.

She borrowed her weight in library books every week. She bought me audio books and crayons out the wazzoo, so she could get stuff done. She read Little House on the Prairie books until she was blue in the face....often "reading" quite literally in her sleep as she fought with drowsiness when my brother came into the picture.

She made grilled cheese sandwiches and hot breakfasts. She wrote notes for school lunches.

She would come pray with me when I got scared in the dark. She would lay in bed with me until I calmed down, sometimes sleeping with me through the night.

She would make mushroom soup for me when I was sick. Fill hot water bottles for my stomach. And read some more.

She drove across Cincinnati to pick up a huge box of Barbies just for me. She helped dress them, she talked my dad into making me a Barbie house. She bought it carpet and made it furniture. And she is not a particularly crafty woman. But she did it for me.

She read Steven Kellogg, Russell and Lillian Hoban, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and the list is positively endless.

She was there for everything.

She homeschooled me when it became clear that public schooling and my crazy self was not going to be a good fit.

She took on nauseatingly complex craft projects for my birthday parties with quite a few little girls involved as "helpers".

I like looking at her childhood pictures, because she always has a baby doll. Better than 90% of her pictures until she was 4 or 5 has a doll in them. I like to think that she was practicing. Practicing loving. Practicing being patient with bizarre antics. Practicing reading. Practicing being never alone. So that when she finally had me, she had the big stuff down.

I am beyond thankful that she is my mother. I know she wasn't perfect, but I sincerely doubt anyone could have handled me with as much grace as she did.

I am thankful that she was always there.

I hope I can be half the mother to my kids that she has been to me.

Happy Mother's Day!!! I am so very thankful for you!!

"Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."
Proverbs 31:28-31


  1. loved this post. you do have an incredible mother and it is clear she loved you well! and i know your children are loved well by you too, you work hard to know and accept them for who they are. happy mother's day my dear!

  2. Thank you for taking time to reflect on the past ~ even as you commit to the future, TiffanyI I am blessed and humbled to be your mama! Thank you for passing the legacy of love on to your children! The love and delights only increase with the years . . .along with unceasing prayers!