This is my mom and me. Headed to the happiest day of my life- October 10, 2009. As far as we knew it.
There was a wedding no doubt. I can’t hide it away and delete every picture pretending it never happened. Sometimes I do wish I could do these things, but the reason why? My hairdo. Duh.
(Okay, by now surely you have realized that one of the strategies I think is important for healing, as well a healthy strategy for anyone I guess, is to make a little fun of yourself. It’s good for you.)
Anyway, I posted this picture to begin the introduction to a very special person in my life- my mom. Someone who has been there by my side on the happiest days and the worst of days. And after all, this blog mostly is about being a mother, so it’s only appropriate I begin to talk about my own influences with my mom.
I mentioned earlier in the blog how I think people become a product of who they are around. For better or for worse. Though, in my mind, it’s still one’s own choice to determine how they are going to turn out to be right? Free will. Nonetheless, influences exist. In my life, my biggest influences include my family.
Now that I am a mom myself, it has taken my mother’s relationship with myself to a whole new level. I have always been close to my mom, but even more so now. Empathy is a huge component when it comes to relationships I’ve come to find out. Relating to someone through similar experiences, in this case- pregnancy, child birth, parenting- opens the doors to an entirety of more conversations, feelings, concerns. The list could go on.
Like babies. Like snowflakes. Not all mothers are the same. Not all mothers mother the same way, in the same fashion. This is a good thing. As a mother you decide what is best for you and your baby, then child. How your baby will be diapered and fed, how your baby will sleep. Despite comparisons from everyone else around you, you eventually are the one who answers the question of how you will mother. So often we fall into the trap of thinking everyone else’s situation is the same as ours. I know this, I do it all the time. Just because I have gone through pregnancy and childbirth and infancy, everyone else will have the exact same experience and therefore it is my duty to advise and inform and educate everyone else. Here I am thinking I’m the biggest help to other moms and looking at it that way, couldn’t be further from the truth!
Nowadays, as I get to mother a toddler, the decisions I get to make and how I mother have become so much more exciting. So what if I prefer Holden to not watch The Cat in the Hat? A stranger knocking on the door of two kids whose parents aren’t home speaking riddles and urging them to go on adventures just isn’t something I condone. But hey, whatever floats your boat, as I’ve said many times before. I’m only kidding about not letting Holden watch the Cat in the Hat. Jerry Springer is his favorite.
Back to the point. This is my mom. Karen is her name. And she rocks my world.
I’ve spoken about how I will do my best to describe someone as something ongoing. Constantly maturing and evolving. Mom, I hope you don’t get mad at me as I describe you as maturing. I’ll do my best.
Here are a few things about my mom. Her ‘as of now’ story through my eyes. Not her past, not her future, but just how she is now. It’s not about how thankful I am for having her in my life. She knows how I feel towards her. I don’t need to publicize it. Well, maybe I’ll thank her for a few things later on.
Let’s start with the superficial business. My mom looks good for her age. (Sidenote: I have not received permission to announce her age on my public blog… The newspaper article did it.) And she looks damn good and feels damn good because she works damn hard at it. Good for her. She’s currently in the best shape of her life and consistently gets mistaken for my sister or twin. Way to go, mom!
I’ll admit, having a hot mom hasn’t always been cool. Indeed I got embarrassed time after time hearing the song “Stacey’s mom has got it goin’ on” throughout my high school years when Stacey was so cleverly replaced by Sami. But now…now that I’m a mom? I’m definitely proud of her being a hot mom. How times change things! The best thing? She’ll never admit it. She’s humble. And always striving to improve herself in one way or another, not just when it comes to looks.
Miss Karen is one in a billion. I will never succeed in text at doing who-my -mom-is justice. She’s ‘crazy’ as my sister and Alex describe her from time to time. In a good way though.
My mom is somewhere in the middle on the scale of strictness and leniency as a parent. She was definitely that mom who was taking her kids and their friends to PG-13 movies before they turned 13. However, she definitely was not the mom who’d host high school drinking parties.
She is funny. Actually, hilarious. My mom is hilarious. She can always laugh at something, especially when you’re not supposed to be laughing. Find humor anywhere. When my mom starts laughing, you laugh too. It’s her superpower over anyone. And when those giggles start going, they don’t stop. For a really long time. Tears are very common as well. Tears streaming down your face when you try to stop laughing. Laugh so hard your stomach hurts. And the boogers? Once those start running out of your nose, it’s all over. Something was really funny that day.
I’ve often thought of creating a blog dedicated solely to texts from my mom. Read the following examples and you’ll understand why.
Who wouldn’t want to wake up and have to marry Channing Tatum…again?
I just watched dad take a bite of a grapefruit thinking it was an orange! You should have seen that first bite!
We just went outside and our boots were filled with dogfood! hahahahahahaha
Turn on TLC! Skippy had a jar of lint! Ewww (I would love to interject which show she was referring to here.) YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!
I love Artie. Is she going to tell him bye? (It’s Arie, mom.)
She hurt Artie bad. (Thanks for telling me what happened during this season of The Bachelorette before I got to watch the finale on DVR.)
BOOM! Sell that ham!
Nothin’ better than pounding chicken breasts to the beat of Mick and the Stones with a glass of wine! Haha we watchin a concert with speakers blaring from 1968ish!
Moving on. My mom is extremely unorganized. There have been many failed attempts at getting her to use a calendar. Write down your appointments mom. Please. Just do it. Regarding this matter, she resists as she says she lives day to day as a ‘free spirit.’
My mom likes to scare people. (And oddly enough, pretty much everyone in our family finds it funny now.) She is thee master of this though. Always looking for that one perfect chance. It’s been going on for a while too. It may have started a while ago, I don’t know. A lot of my childhood memories revolve around the times my mom terrified me on purpose. The witch mask hidden in the dark corners of our storage room in the basement was the worst. Nightmares. She gets a rush anticipating the face someone will make while hiding around the corner waiting to pop out as they walk by. I think there’s a kindred spirit between her and Ellen Degeneres.
I think she’s just got some genetic vulnerability to carrying out practical humor. Psychologists say it sometimes only takes one small life event for any type of vulnerability to explode. Surely this characteristic of her’s exploded while she and her two sisters were children walking across a bridge over the Maumee River in Ohio. I don’t know what sparked, but of course it was a great idea to throw her sister’s shoe off the bridge. Been scaring people ever since. Recently? She hid pop rocks in my dad and brother’s beignets.
Silliness aside, my mom is there for her kids. Always. This is a big part of her motherly style. Not just physically present at any important event. I’m talking being more than there emotionally. Side-by-side. Feeling every feeling any four of us kids have ever endured. Happiness. Sadness. Heartbreaks. There through it all. Overwhelming her. My Dark Ages were her Dark Ages. What I experienced was what she experienced. By my side. Probably worse for her too. I’ve learned this phenomenon since becoming a mother. Whatever your child feels, you feel too, but probably more. Whether a high or a low.
It’s an easy choice to make- caring for your child more than caring for yourself. This paves the way for that phenomenon to take place. I feel very fortunate to have learned to do this through my mother’s example.
My mom is truly one in a billion. I’ll never be able to explain her in one silly blog post. But at least now, my readers can get some sense of where I come from as a mother myself. Lighthearted, happy, humorous, loving. So many qualities she has instilled in me as I embark on this journey of mothering. For that I am thankful.
And I am also thankful for these.
The aid you offered in helping me open the Christmas presents you clearly wrapped just a few hours before.
Your haircuts. Your specialty was bangs. Clearly.
Sitting next to me in all the rides I could never ride in alone because I was never big enough.
‘Preparing’ me for the first day of school.
Allowing me to suck on a pacifier which eerily resembled the Silence of the Lambs movie case.
Feeding my infatuation with manatees. Notice the t-shirt.
This somewhat seductive pose of me before my First Holy Communion.
Making me try out for the Frosty the Snowman play… Okay, not so thankful for that.
Let’s not forget these.
Always being proud of me.
Encouraging me to always laugh.
Supporting every decision.
And much, much more.