Thursday, May 9, 2013

For my mother

In this season of Hallmark cards, flowers, and hint-hint jewelry commercials,

5 things I loved about growing up with my mom:

Reading My mom always had a book--beside her chair in the living room, in her work bag, just beyond her nose.  She read to us, of course, but I think it was seeing her (and my dad) read that really cemented in my young, impressionable mind that reading is a worthwhile venture.  Oh, and today?  I have books in a bin in the living room, on my Nook, on my bedside table...

Birthdays Mom always made my birthday parties special: whether it was Dairy Queen cakes or water fights or a sleepover for a dozen friends (literally), Mom made it happen.  Sure there was that year all my friends were glued to one of our cows giving birth rather than partaking in actual party activities, but even Mom can't compete with real-live Discovery Channel (but boy was I frustrated that my friends were so interested in something I had seen a hundred times).

Open-door hospitality Like I said, she let me have a dozen friends stay over at a time.  Friends came and went, stayed over for days.  Cousins practically lived with us for whole summers.  Men who came to the farm to trim hooves, clip cows, or just about anything else always had a seat at the table--and there was always plenty to eat.  My mom can make any meal stretch to accommodate extra guests and can even get picky teenage boys to eat vegetables (and no, ketchup doesn't count).

TGIF and pizza This one's kind of silly, but I always looked forward to ordering pizza and watching sitcoms with my mom and brother (poor Dad was stuck milking cows...or maybe he didn't hold the same affinity for Boy Meets World?).  For whatever reason, I absolutely loved that my mom sat and watched those shows with me, laughing at the jokes and antics of Corey Matthews when I'm sure she would have rather had her nose in a book (see above) after a long week. {Additionally, I love that this has morphed into watching way too much HGTV when I come visit now.  It feels more grown up that way.}

Car talks These were occasionally awkward and there was the time we hit a deer and Mom left me alone in the car in the middle of nowhere at night while she went to search for it, but still, we talked through all kinds of things in the car and I definitely felt cared for and listened to as we drove.

These are just five things; there are so many other wonderful things about my mother--and as a parent myself, I have far more respect and admiration for her than I did when I was growing up.  And I hope I can do as good a job as she did.

Mom, I hope you clicked on the link and read this even though you're at work.  I love you.

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