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Day 129: Mom!

Guess what day it is?!? Mother's day, actually. You'll know that by looking at any advertisement, Facebook, Instagram, your children or your mother.

I mentioned back on her birthday, which I neglected to acknowledge properly, that I am one of those lucky people with a great mom! She deserves a World's Best Mom mug, but she's a little too classy for that. Her mugs are pretty. At any rate, an ode to my mom:

Here's mom with #2 as a baby
I've been searching for like 35 minutes for a particularly adorable
photo of my mom holding baby me in the early '80s and my
computer and Snapfish are letting me down. Angry face.
Jan. That's what I call her when I don't use Mom or Grandma. She's quick to point out that she's actually not my grandma. Legit. 

I don't suppose many kids appreciate their moms as they should, and I know I didn't. Even after I became a mother, dealing with pregnancy and labor and newborn life, I still didn't "get" it. But now, a few years in, I'm struggling to figure out how exactly she did all the things. 

How did she withstand my constant, non-stop, incessant talking? How did she get Christmas shopping done without Amazon? How did she not develop a twitch when I left my Cabbage Patch day care set up in the family room for days? How did she look away, pretending not to notice, when I dressed in ridiculous oversized '90s garb? How did she manage to make dinner for us every night? Even the nights after nothing but complaints (which was probably every night). How did she not take it personally that I preferred cereal for every meal?

How did she work full time, bring supper to dad in the field, and still make it to all of my basketball games? Way back in the day, girls basketball was in the fall. More puzzling than that is, how did she keep her dignity after being forced to watch me ride the bench or, worse, play basketball? 

When she had cancer a few years ago, my oldest child was just a glimmer in my eye, as they say. And, selfishly, the first thing I thought was, "How can I be a mother without my mother?" More than 5 years in, I still call her for parenting/homemaking/etiquette tips ALL the time. Can I substitute this for this so I don't have to go to the grocery store? How do I get this stain off? Is it normal for my kid to say this word wrong? 

I believe we share a melancholic temperament, Jan and me, so we have that in common. I thank her, as I'm sure my spouse does, for my tendency toward worrying. I call her "Bess" when she acts like her mother. We act like it's a joke, but it's meant as a complement because Bess was the best of the best, and also because I'm turning in to my own mother oh so quickly. Just ask my sister. ;) 

Mom has great taste in clothes and decorating. She knows pretty much all of the homemaking things, and she's fun! Having an adult relationship with your mother is a joy that most kids and teenage girls couldn't dream of, but I believe it's such a gift to both parties. We can share interests and have really interesting discussions now that I'm sort of a grown up!

I'm a shouter, but I don't really remember my mom shouting much. She worked really hard raising us (as did dad, but it's Mother's Day), and the most frequent complaint I remember hearing from her was about the dog hair. Again, legit. Our dog did shed like crazy, and he loved sitting on the darkest rugs and furniture.

She did housework while I followed her around reading "Charlotte's Web" and "Stuart Little" and "Little House on the Prairie" to her until she probably had them memorized. She still has "The Cat in the Hat" memorized. Mom stayed home with us until I was all set in elementary school. She was a loving and devoted teacher for many years, and completely deserved her retirement. Mom was a loyal and generous friend, a Sunday school teacher, a member of clubs, and a volunteer. I'm sure these things stressed her out, but I don't remember picking up on that as kid. She made it look easy!

If I can do half as well as she did at mothering, housekeeping, friendship, and life, I'll consider it a win.

I love you, Mom! I blame the German, or maybe the Norwegian, in me for not saying it enough.


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