I’ve often written about my dad, and if you follow me on social media, you’re sure to find goofy pictures of us laughing and cutting up. We have a special bond – from our love of the chocolatey goodness of a Yoo-hoo to our matching knock-knee walks to our shared wacky sense of humor. He’s been my buddy since the beginning.
Growing up, he was undoubtedly the fun parent. But, you see, I’m a lucky girl and I have two amazing parents. On this Mother’s Day, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share a little about the woman who was always behind the scenes. Mom.
In as much as Dad was the fun one, Mom was the teacher, the caregiver, the carpool driver, the disciplinarian, the fashion police, the organizer. In short, she was the constant, the stability.
Bless her heart, she was room mom until I was in the fifth grade – making sure all of the kiddos in my class were cared for. That woman deserves a gold star for the sheer amount of sticky children and parental organizing she endured.
When I was in second grade, she even volunteered to be the class art teacher when my small school didn’t have one. And while this sounds like a normal mom-thing to do, let me assure you that this was a huge deal, as Mom is probably one of the least artistic souls I know. Glue, construction paper, paint, glitter – they are not in her wheelhouse. You need help with math or grammar? She’s got your back.
She was willing to step in and take on something she was not familiar with, didn’t enjoy, and honestly scared her a bit, just for me. In my eyes, that is love in a million ways.
Whenever I had a cold, Mom was there. Was in a school play, Mom was there. Was in the youth group orchestra, Mom was there. Was scared or afraid, Mom was there. She cheered me on to do well at school, and begged me to go easy on myself when I cried over getting a B.
When it was clear that gymnastics or sports weren’t my thing, and trust me when I say they were so not my thing, she helped me find my creative side with piano and art lessons. And when the piano teacher said that I had talent, but we would need to invest in a piano to develop my skills, Mom made it happen. I still have that same piano and thanks to untold hours of Mom driving me to lessons and listening to me bang on those keys at a rapid fire pace, I can still play.
Mom also taught me right from wrong, the value of telling the truth even when it’s hard, and the importance of being kind. She showed me what compassion looked like when she spent months caring for her own dad after he had a heart attack – balancing the care of me with the care of him.
And while Mom might not have the same rip roaring sense of humor as Dad, she loves a good laugh. I remember more than once climbing up into bed with her and tickling her sides while she would squeal with laughter. To this day, whenever I can make Mom laugh, it feels like I’ve just received a gift.
Yes, it’s true, oftentimes Dad gets a lot of the glory. Mom has called us the mutual admiration society for years, but the truth is that she is the foundation. She’s solid, steady, full of love and always there. Even now as a forty-something grown up, when I need someone to tell me it’s going to be okay, that I can do it, or just need an ear to bend, I pick up the phone and call Mom.
So on this Mother’s Day, I want to say thanks to my mom for being the constant – constant care, constant protector, constant love. May we all be so lucky to have that constant in our life, and may we all take the time to say thank you.
P.S. A version of this post was published in the Glen Rose Reporter. This farmgirl is delighted to serve as a community columnist.