Seeing as this is my very first blog and it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, I thought it was meant to be that I write about MY MOM! Where to begin? I mean she has been in my life, well, forever so there are just so many memories. So I think I’ll focus on the things I have implemented into my parenting. That’s a good place to begin.
If you know my mom or any of my family, you know that they DO NOT EVER want a child to be upset or cry. So I find it really funny that I was such a terrible baby. From the stories that I’ve heard all my life I was NOT a happy baby. I didn’t sleep, I needed constant entertainment, and I didn’t want to be without my mom. And yes I cried a lot. Then I would hear the silly things they would do to keep me happy. I often thought, “I’ll never let my child run my life!” My mom used to sleep with me almost every night as a baby, and when I wasn’t in her bed she used to hold my hand through my crib slats just to catch a bit of sleep. I get it now because I had a baby JUST like me! I tell you what we did everything we could think of to keep her from crying! When I hear my mother tell these stories it is always with a smile on her face and she’ll sometimes say that she misses those days and comment about how fast they went by. I’m sure I’ll say that someday.
I’ll never forget those times when she would practice my spelling words with me. She would sing the spellings. She made it so fun, and in doing so I actually remembered how to spell them! Her method made me a talented speller. Honestly, I didn’t even realize how much that affected me until my daughters started having spelling tests of their own. All of the sudden, I’m singing the spelling of each word, and they are singing along and acing the tests! It’s so FUNNY how these things sneak up on me!
I didn’t even realize my mom’s significant influence on me until I became a mom. There are many more stories like this, but now I must skip to my high school days. That’s when things got REAL! One of my favorite stories is about the swim team. I hated swim team! For some reason my mom didn’t let me quit. I guess I was pretty good, but for me the passion was NOT there!! I would complain at every single swim meet. I was a brat! I guess I was about 14 when she finally had enough. I was complaining (as usual) that I didn’t want to be there, I hated this, (blah blah) and then I said, “I wish I had a broken bone or something so I didn’t have to do this anymore.”
So I remember my mom saying, “Ok then” (we were standing at the top of a flight of stairs at the time) and she shoved me with her foot towards the stairs. OH MY GOSH, I was shocked! Did she really just try and push me down the stairs. My mind was reeling! First thing I did was tell everyone that my mom tried to push me down the stairs; she tried to break my bones. I was very dramatic about it of course. You know what? I knew she didn’t shove me hard enough to ACTUALLY make me fall down the stairs, but I was happy to tell everyone she did. I guess I just didn’t want to face the truth – the truth being that I did have a talent, but I just didn’t have the DESIRE! I often think about that situation now that I have my own kiddos, and I bet I would do the exact same thing. She wasn’t perfect, but in this situation that was exactly what I needed to snap me out of it! It may not have been the TYPICAL approach for some parents, but for me it worked.
Let’s not forget when I brought my boyfriend home. Yes, you know the one no parent ever wants to meet. I was 16, and she insisted that we spend some time at the house so that she could evaluate him. I was in love, so I was happy for her to meet him. In my eyes, he was perfectly imperfect. It was great! He walked in wearing his dog collar, sporting a chain wallet, and wearing a wife beater that showed off his very large sunshine tattoo. I bet she wanted to die. But she was cool as a cucumber. She was very nice to him. He said some phrases like “cool, man”, and “peace out,” and he maybe even called her “dude.” Oh my, I am cracking up right now as I type this!
After he left, she said that his tattoo was creative and that he had a nice smile. Nothing negative, but looking back now, she knew that anything NEGATIVE would only make me want to be with him more. She was smart! I could go on and on about my teenage years, but then this blog would become a novel. So I’ll just go on and say this. In my darkest moments of my teenage years – when a lot of people thought I was nothing but trouble, going down the wrong road, out of control (you name it, they said it) – my mom NEVER agreed with them, she NEVER gave up on me, she ALWAYS said to me that she had faith in me and she knew who I really am. She gave me confidence in myself to make better decisions. She guided me without pushing. She trusted me. She was amazing-exactly what I needed- always has been, always will be.
Now listen, it hasn’t always been sunshine and roses. She’s made mistakes, and I’ve made mistakes, but at the end of the days, she is my best friend! She was the first one to the hospital when my babies were born, she would die for my kids, she is an ear when I need to talk (and we talk EVERYDAY; she talks to ALL of her kids everyday), she is my biggest cheerleader, she makes me laugh, and she raises me up.
When I’ve had enough of being the maid, the cook, the taxi driver, the fixer, the shouting posts, and the unacknowledged dweller of the house, I stop and think about my mom. And yes, I probably didn’t give her the credit and love she deserved when I was a child or a teenager, but the appreciation I feel for her now is overwhelming! Every day, it becomes more and more obvious the impact she has had on my life, and every day I am grateful! So to all of you mothers out there that feel like me and sometimes think what we do goes unnoticed, please listen when I tell you it WON’T go unnoticed forever! I thank God for my mom. She is truly a gift.
“As is the mother, so is her daughter” Ezekiel 16:44
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Author: Erica Aspacher