The name that evokes emotions and memories in us all.
When I think of my own mother, I smile with dozens of memories.
I remember how for most of my life I wanted one thing:
Flowing long hair.
I tied towels around my head, braided panty hose legs and begged that she would let me grow it.
Instead, my mother insisted on the next best thing:
The permed mullet.
I can still smell the scent of perm solution that burned my nostrils as I sat in a salon full of blue haired old women who had no idea that there was a difference between a regular perm and a SPIRAL.
It is the very reason I loathe my fifth grade picture.
I remember recognizing that she really DID love me as I saw the terror in her face when my dad forced us to try to recapture his panicked,running free ostrich and wrestle it to the ground on Easter Sunday.
Hunting for eggs was never the same.
It was supposed to be locked up.
Instead, it was loose and running around the field like it's head was on fire. We were dressed in our finest. I was completely freaked out.
My dad shouted, "Beware of the feet! One kick from an ostrich can kill a lion!"
My mom about passed out.
We won't even go into WHY we had an ostrich....
We laugh that every time we passed by the nearby dairy (Which was daily, because we lived around the corner.) she would slow the car to a crawl, look worriedly at some exhausted cow taking a nap in the afternoon sun and say with a concerned tone, "Is that cow....DEAD?!"
We now have concepts of "Is That Cow Dead?" paraphenalia.
Look for it in stores.
She taught me to drive, and made it out in one piece, even though I gave her whiplash trying to learn a clutch and she wore a hole in the floorboard doing her famous "air brake."
And she never met a piece of REALLY well done meat she didn't like.
The King House - Home of the Beef Chip.
I hid from her the piercings I gave myself in my bedroom with an apholstery needle and an ice cube, ------------and my diary.
She probably hid from ME the boarding school brochures I'm sure she was having mailed to her.
She taught me to be a mother - as she worked and sacrificed and pulled out her hair from the stress of raising a daughter who thought outside the box.
Her daughter who did crazy things that I don't dare mention.
We fought, we cried, we laughed, we rolled our eyes - But we always came back around to the part where we made up and said we were sorry.
She drove me to the mall, to youth group, to the doctor, to school and sometimes crazy.
That is, until she and my father decided I was trustworthy enough to drive a string of embarassing cars: The blue Ford F150 with the cattle cage welded on top, (Yes, it sounds like what it was.)
the Volvo that leaned to the right with the fluffs of fake sheepskin that would blow off into your mouth if you were unfortunate enough to sit in the back seat with the windows down. The Sentra with the 2 month old rotten bag of tomato juice hidden under the driver's seat.
She is the reason I wanted to be a mother - Because I saw in her that being a mother could be the greatest thing you could ever hope to do.
That it could make you happy in ways that you'd never be able to explain, and give you love that you didn't know existed.
She made me believe it was worth doing.
Amazing woman. Talented. Generous. Friend to all. Nurturing. FABULOUS grandmother.
The "Woman for the job"
But along with these things I would also like to add to the list:
Keeper of Detrimental Secrets.
I have realized over the years that I have been a mother that there were SEVERAL things that my mom "forgot" to tell me.
I don't think it was really intentional. I don't think it was a diobolical plan to leave me wounded and left for dead.
"X"s for eyes.
It was simply LEFT OUT.
I have comprised a list of things that I feel are important for MY daughters to know, should they ever embark on the wonderful journey of motherhood.
1) The number of boogers you will be handed will FAR outnumber the number of fresh, hand-picked bouquets you will receive.
2) Children LOVE to poop first thing in the morning, so make sure if you are not NATURALLY a morning person, you prepare for this, because it will be the start to your day many days, whether you like it or not.
3) There will be hundreds of nights where you will sleep on the floor of your child's room praying their fever will break.
There will be as many times getting thrown up on, or poop under your nails.
But for every hundred of these situations, you will be allowed only one quarter of a sick day.
This quarter of a sick day must be taken while standing up and while stirring some sort of food that you will, in turn, feed the children.
You must never look as if you are resting. Resting is forbidden. Forever.
4) From now on, if you need quiet and concentration, you will be required to make all phone calls from a dark and closed closet.
Buy a headlamp.
You may need it for taking notes and messages.
Any more light than this will alert the kids as to where to find you.
Do this and you can kiss all appointment scheduling goodbye.
5) You will never gradually and calmly wake up again.
From the birth of your first child on, you will either be screamed awake, poked awake, have your eyelids pryed open, have something scary and oddly warm thrust into your hands, or wake to the sound of your name being chanted 30 times with the words, "I'm hungry." following.
6) From here on out, dinner out will mostly mean going to whatever restaurant gives balloons.
7) Every item of your clothing will now have a mystery stain.
At first you will care.
Then you won't.
8) Your favorite hairstyle will be whatever you can do in 30 seconds with one hand, because you will need the other hand free for keeping your toddler from throwing Daddy's toothbrush into the toilet.
9) All showering will be postponed until 2:00 pm,
or until further notice.
10)Your Seven jeans will be replaced with yoga pants.
11) You will soon scoff at couples who go out to late dinners and aren't even seated until 9:00.
I mean, don't they know that LOST is on?! **yawn**
12) You will plan everything, pack everything, double check everything, worry about everything, and run everything for EVERYONE and they will still probably love Daddy more.
13)You will spend every Mother's Day planning Father's Day.
14) With every subsequent pregnancy, you will lose more and more brain cells.
Go more than three and you will need help remembering things like cursive and your own state's capital.
There are more.
There are more.
But, alas, I lack the time to list them all.
I have more pressing things to do, like:
clean Nutella out of the carpet.
I guess it was probably better that she didn't tell me all these secrets.
Because then, when given the choice of marriage and family or singledom, It may have swayed the vote.
I may not have had my three beautiful girls and gotten to experience it for myself.
So for all the truths you taught me and even the ones you kept - Thanks, Mom. I love you.
You made motherhood seem like something I'd want to do some day.
I just hope I can do it as well as you did.