Monday, May 14, 2007

Lessons from Momma

I had an absolutely wonderful Mother’s Day yesterday. My brothers and I cooked for my mom, and we spent the day swinging on my parents’ front porch and reminiscing. It brought back so many wonderful memories of growing up in the arms of two outstanding people. Some of the things I’ve learned from my mom:

-Spraying each other with the hose on a hot day is ALWAYS better than staying inside and cleaning a dirty house. The dirt isn’t going anywhere. The sunshine might leave tomorrow. Of course, I absolutely suck at house cleaning, and this could be why, but I don’t care.
-Bursting into song and dance at inappropriate moments never killed anyone. In fact, it’s a great way to alleviate stress. However, it can cause some stares in the grocery store.
-You can drown in half a cup of water. You can get head lice from trying on Halloween masks in stores, and jumping off the back porch with your tongue hanging out of your mouth can cut off your tongue. My mother worked as an ER nurse and every time me or my brothers started to do something even the slightest bit risky, she would say, “You shouldn’t do that. You know when I worked in the ER, they brought in a kid one time that had (insert dangerous activity here) and he (insert mangling of body part here).” I was always being told not to climb on our big propane tank, and the time I fell off the darn thing, I sat on the ground forever, too scared to touch my eye because I was sure I had knocked it out just like that little girl in the ER.
-You can feed a family of five with a freezer and a garden. The summer my dad walked a picket line was pretty lean. We ate a LOT of vegetables, and while I knew we didn’t have two nickels to rub together that summer, I didn’t feel it much.
-It’s always a good idea to have a secret candy stash. Mom would buy candy and divvy it up. She saved her portion and hid it in odd places so we wouldn’t eat hers too. It was not uncommon to reach for the fabric softener in the laundry room and have a York Peppermint Patty tumble out onto your head.
-You should bail a relative out of jail for DUI only twice. When you pick them up the second time, you tell them they are not the only person to ever go through a divorce, that it’s time to quit drinking, get up off their *** and get over it. Be firm in stating that the next time they get arrested, you WILL let them sit in jail. (Let me clarify, I was not the one arrested.)

Did my mother yell at me? Yes, only when she had tried every other way of getting my attention and failed. Did she spank me? Yes, usually with whatever she had in her hand like a fly swatter or a wooden spoon. I always deserved it. I was HARD HEADED. It did not damage me for life, and I am not abusive to my child. Did I get everything I wanted when I was growing up? No. I didn’t get lots of Christmas gifts each year, designer jeans or my own car because we couldn’t afford it. What I did get was an appreciation for how much these things cost, how they had to be earned and how they should be taken care of when you finally got them. I learned an appreciation for wildlife and learned that family is family. You love them and help them even if they sell some pot and get arrested or they do other stupid stuff that makes you mad. Was my mother my friend when I was growing up? No. She was my MOTHER. There is a difference, and she knew it. I am thrilled that she is now one of my best friends and such a wonderful teacher. I find myself acting more and more like her each day (see bursting into song and dance in public above), and I’m proud to say, that’s okay. Love you momma.

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