I love this picture of my mom. It was taken a few weeks after my sister Dana was born. A couple of years before I came on the scene. I believe she looks especially cool. If I remember correctly she was 20 years old. (Dates….not my strong suit. Yeah, in any facet of the word.)
I think she rolls her eyes at me each time I bring it out and is less than amused when I put it on Facebook. But that’s what happens when you create a child like me. They do things that are somewhat annoying over and over again. And enjoy it.
All moms aren’t like my mom. It took me a while to understand that was a good thing. She paid attention to everything we said and did as we were growing up….and called us on it. Drove us crazy….and we drove her crazy. But now I know that others did not get that kind of attention….and they had to figure it all out on their own.
I have often had parents tell me that they trust their kids to make the right decision. My mom was invested in us making the right decisions….but always watched us for signs that we were headed down wrong roads. I’m a “prone to wander” type. Oh, the lectures I had to endure growing up! She never thought I was listening. But I was. Her voice remains in my head. Always. I have a mind of my own….boy, do I ever..,but everything funnels through Mom’s words of wisdom. She figured out things pretty well and always told me in a way that appealed to my sense of logic. Some of the things that are right for her are not necessarily right for me….but because of her I have the freedom and confidence to do it my way.
My siblings and I always have said that we had the perfect parents for grown-ups. They raised us to be adults….when we were grown, they released us to the world and didn’t try to force us to do things their way. While I know there were times we made them cringe, they let us figure things out. If we needed advice, they would give it. They didn’t resent if we didn’t take it. They didn’t usually interfere with our personal lives…even when I lived a few doors down from them in the apartments for a while. As adults we were allowed to have our own lives and we did not need to tell our parents everything. As a result, we probably felt free to tell them more than most. Well, Mom says I tell her nothing. Probably because my mind stays pretty crowded and I forget. But really…I trust her with my confidences.
If we found ourselves in trouble, our parents would be there for us…though they never felt if we were in the wrong we shouldn’t endure the consequences (yes, I chose to use the double negative. Sometimes I like them). As a result, we’re grown-ups. We face those consequences. We first try to figure our own way out of trouble. But when we really need it, we know we can ask for help. We are not surprised people are kind and will help us…because that was modeled for us. We were always around helpful and kind people…not only our parents, but the others they brought into our lives. We also learned how to be there for others. We had responsibility to the world.
An acquaintance asked me the other day if I smile all the time. No….not all the time…but usually. Life is good. I was never raised to believe it was perfect, or fair, or that people were flawless. I was raised to deal with it all as part of life. I was raised that my character was more important than anything else. Way more than money. Way more than what people think.
I was raised to know that God was listening and it didn’t matter if everyone else believed me (or didn’t believe me)….God knew the truth. That particular lesson came when Mom suspected I was lying (I was), but she couldn’t prove it. It was brilliant. Stopped the lying flat. And gave me a lot of freedom. If God knows the truth, I don’t really care what you believe about me. (So there.)
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. Thanks for all you’ve taught me. You’re my favorite. And that picture of a younger you is awesome. Trust me.