Friday, December 26, 2008

Memories....or not

Today I am packing. I’m heading East to visit with the family and particularly to spend time with my Mom. She’s getting up there in years and I try to go as often as I can to spend quality time with her. She’s a very important person in my life.

Because of the nature of The Spouse’s work, which I have discussed before, I often see how some mothers treat their children and it is truly unbelievable. Just yesterday, Christmas Day, The Spouse had to go to the local hospital to take possession of a newborn that was born drug exposed. In other words, his mother took drugs while pregnant. This is not the first of this woman’s children that this has happened to and this stupid woman keeps losing her kids to the foster system. When The Spouse asked her point blank why she continued taking drugs while pregnant, she responded, “you just don’t understand”. The Spouse agreed she did not and then she took possession of the baby. The mother informed The Spouse that this time she would “fight” for the baby. The Spouse told her good luck. Not gonna happen.

I guess these kinds of things are so far out of the realm of what I experienced as a child, and what I understand about being a mother, that it is like The Spouse is speaking a foreign language when she tells me about these events. I just don’t get it. My mother did so much for me when I was growing up, gave up so much, always put me and my welfare first and I feel very sure never took so much as an aspirin when she was pregnant with me. There are many things I know she did and I’m sure equally as many that I have no idea about. However, as I sit here, robust, healthy, intelligent, etc. etc, I know where a great deal of the credit goes.

She nursed me. I’m not sure young mothers today realize just how important this is. The strength it gave my immune system, the really good brain I function with, the strong bones…..many of those go back to those first few months of my life when Mom nursed me. I have read that testing has PROVEN that babies that are breast fed are more intelligent, healthier and have stronger immune systems. Their brains and bodies just develop better. They have a distinct advantage over the bottle fed. Thanks Mom.

She and my Dad loved each other and stayed together for their entire adult lives. No marriage is perfect. Two people always have “issues” but I never knew what my parent’s issues were. We, their children, just figured they were perfectly matched. They were married for 62 years. A child that is raised in a home with both parents, where those parents love each other, and love and want that child, is so much more likely to become an emotionally healthy, well adjusted adult. Thanks Mom.

She made me take typing in high school. She said I would never go hungry if I knew how to type. She was so right. Thanks Mom.

She taught me to cook. I have no memory of this but then I have no memory in general so this is not unusual. However, today, I am an excellent cook and know many of the “little secrets” of being a good cook. Once when Mom and I were discussing cooking, she rightly pointed out, “just who do you think taught you how to use a measuring cup? Or a sifter? Or a rolling pin? Etc. etc. She’s so right. I have gone above and beyond that basic cooking knowledge, but I had to have that foundation. Thanks Mom.

My mother doesn’t particularly like cooking. She’s not “a cook” like I am. BUT, every night of her life, when she had small children at home, there was a hot cooked meal on the table ready and waiting for her family. She got up every morning and cooked breakfast in order to send us off to school with a full tummy. No matter how tight the budget, and there were times it was plenty tight, there was always food on the table and we always sat down together an ate dinner as a family. Thanks Mom.

When I was an infant, she and my Dad would take turns going to the movies while the other one stayed with me. They didn’t want to leave me with a stranger when I was so little. Thanks Mom.

She and my Dad had more children than just me. Not only because they wanted a bigger family but because they didn’t want me to be an only child. They worried that I would be lonely. Today, my siblings are an important and vital part of my life. I can’t imagine them not being there. Thanks Mom.

When my Dad was overseas (military man) and my Mom was “wrestling” with managing four children alone, she still let me (the oldest) have my teenage freedom. Even though she desperately needed my help with an adolescent, a toddler and a newborn, she still let me go and play ball. My team needed their pitcher as much as she needed her helper. She understood that. Thanks Mom.

I once came very close to being molested. I was just a child. My Mom had a mother's sixth sense, knew something was wrong, and came to my rescue. She got there just in time. Nothing happened. Somehow she knew. Thanks Mom.

When I was a teenager and I was obnoxious, rude, self-righteous, convinced I knew everything, lazy, self-centered and most of all just a huge pain in the ass, she still loved me. I have no idea why. Thanks Mom.

She never said “just wait till your father gets home”……she dealt with it. Thanks Mom.

I could go on and on as my Mom has been a “force” in my life for all of my 63 years. She continues to be to this day. Thanks for everything Mom, I love you.

Back to my packing………….

1 comment:

jennifer said...

My mom insisted that I learn to type as well. She also insisted that I learn to play the piano, and she kept on me for the first two years (when I whined and hated to practice), until I finally embraced music and took off with it on my own. Now I can look back at those two things and see how far ahead I got in life by knowing how to do them already as a child.