My mom’s birthday is today. She is coming over here for dinner with my family and I have her a gift wrapped in birthday paper. For everyone who has a birthday near Christmas, you can understand how important that is.
My mom is another year young. She, honestly, looks pretty much the same as she has my entire life. I hope I can look as young as she does when I turn….well nevermind. It has been such a blessing in my life to have her as a mom. She is not only my mom, but also my best friend. There are not a lot of people who can say that about their moms, I am lucky that I can. She has not had the easiest of lives, but I think she has become an infinintly better person for all that she has endured. I am sure she would say she sees the good in everything and wouldn’t change any of it now. She is an inspiration to me and has taught me a lot of things over the past 31 years. Here are a few of them:
1. Have good table manners, it will get you far. She used to set the table with her good china, every now and then, to teach me good manners and how to behave in an elegant setting. I am so grateful for that now. I feel comfortable in any event I go to, knowing that I can behave well and not embarrass myself by using the wrong fork. Thanks mom.
2. Go to college and have a back-up plan. I knew early on, that college was not an option, it was a requirement for me. She has a Master’s Degree and I saw how well it served her. Even when we had nothing and it seemed hopeless, she had her education to fall back on and we survived. I knew, even though I always just wanted to be a SAHM, that I would go to college and get a degree just in case I ever found myself in need of it. Little did I know college is way more about what you learn about yourself then the degree you get, but that is another post. Mom pushed me to do my best and I am grateful for that.
3. Clean your room once a week, at least. My mom taught me two things in this expectation. One is that keeping things clean and tidy is good practice, in general. But also, that you should live in your house the rest of the time. She kept a clean house, but I always felt that I could live there and make a mess if I needed to. It wasn’t a museum, it was a home. She would say, “you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously”. I practice this advice today, and don’t stress about how clean my house is all the time, but let my kids live in it.
4. Clean your house before you leave for vacation. This one I really hate that she has ingrained into me. I say little curses under my breath each time I am about to leave for vacation and find myself having to clean my house. But, what it taught me was that you should think ahead and try to prepare for things. After your vacation the last thing you are going to want to do is clean your house, you will be tired. So, if you do it beforehand it is much better when you get home. It really is true, even though I hate doing it.
5. Send cards in the snail mail. Using a stamp lets someone know they really mean a lot to you. In this age of technology, I think we have lost sight of the snail mail letter. It is so nice to send a card or note to someone in the mail and it’s really nice to get one. Mom taught me that skill and I am thankful for it, it has served me well.
6. Only do halfway, the things you want to do again. I confess, I am still learning this one, since I am the queen of cutting corners, just ask my husband. But if I would follow mom’s advice, and do things correctly the first time, it would save me time later.
7. Be human with your kids. My mom allowed me to see her emotions. I saw her happy and I saw her sad. It showed me, as a child, that parents are people too. She would tell me if I hurt her feelings and that showed me how to have empathy. I use this with my own kids and it really makes a difference.
8. Pray, pray and pray. Mom shared her legacy of faith with me. I watched her read her Bible in the morning and pray with me about big and small things. She pointed me to God, and made sure I was in church every Sunday. She showed me how to have a relationship with God and for that I am eternally grateful.
Thanks, Mom, for all you have taught me and are still teaching me. I love you.