I've spent the morning thinking about how lucky I am to have been raised by my mom. I've been searching through my computer to find the perfect pictures of her and wondering exactly what I should say about her and all the things that make her special to me. I'm kind of at a loss for words.
I think Mothers and Daughters have a special bond that cannot really be described for public consumption. Dads and Daughters have to work to build a relationship throughout their entire lives, from the moment the daughters arrive. Moms and Daughters have it already in place long before daughters come out to join the rest of the world. Sure, Moms and Daughters still have to work on being friends, especially from junior high to college...but the foundation still remains intact.
Right now I am drinking coffee from my favorite cup Mom gave me on the day my divorce finalized. She came to California to be with me, and brought along my favorite dinner, a pumpkin cheesecake, and a chocolate cake. It was exactly the right way to wrap up a difficult time in my life. It was the moment I needed my Mom the most, and of course, she was there. With love and sugar.
So Mom, here are just a few lessons for which I've been meaning to thank you.
1. You do not have to be the life of the Party to enjoy the Party. My mom is often the one in the background, making sure there is enough food, clean silverware, and that even the shyest person never has to stand alone. Life is the Party, after all.
2. Never stop learning. Work your butt off to get what you want. My mom has been a school teacher for 33 years. I remember her teaching all day, then driving to Talequah in the evenings for her Master's Degree when Sister and I were still little. How exhausting that must have been. And then she had to write her thesis on a typewriter! A typewriter! She has never stopped taking classes, asking questions...learning. Sometimes she forgets to take a break for herself.
3. Be polite. It makes you the bigger person. Please, thank you, and excuse me go a long way. If your daughter's soon-to-be mother-in-law shows up to a first-time-to-meet-everyone-family event on a Harley, dressed in full leathers, smoking a cigarette and being generally obnoxious...Be polite. If a dozen people show up at your house for dinner and you are exhausted from working since 6 AM...Be polite. If you go to a potluck and the person in front of you takes everything from the meat plate and there are still 15 people behind them....Don't yell. Avoid inviting that person to potlucks...and Be polite. If a crazy person accosts you in public and all you really want to do is throw coffee on them...Don't. Stand up for yourself as appropriate. Walk away. And Be polite.
4. When you find your best friend, stick with them. Especially if, after nearly 34 years, they still goose you as soon as the picture is over. O.M.G. Get a room.
5. Be the silly goose. Seriously. Literally. If you can't laugh at yourself, you are doing it wrong. Sometimes my mom has debilitating fits of giggles when she is trying something new. Sometimes she laughs so hard, no noise is coming out of her mouth and she looks like she is in pain. I laugh exactly the same way. I guess sometimes Joy can be painful. But that's totally fine. Just keep laughing.
Happy Mother's Day....