Sunday, May 10, 2015

Our Mama and Us....Lessons




My Mom had me at a young age and then my brother four years later. All things considered, I think my parents did a phenomenal job with us. Neither of us have knocked over a 7-11, been committed or been considered a menace to society. We turned out ok.

I did not have children until I was 25 and I wonder if I should set aside a fund for future psychological visits to go along with their college funds. If they don't use it I may need it. I mean lets face it....parenting is hard, even in ideal circumstances, and I think Mothering is even harder. You are molding this little being from a mound of clay into something that is supposed to be pretty, hold water or serve some purpose. There is no guide book or instructions on what to do, so for our's to do what she did with what she had speaks volumes about the Mama that my brother and I have. If we do half the job she did with us then we might be able to pocket the psych fund.

We're very fortunate....she stuck around when I'm sure that she felt like running away. She kept her sanity when my brother would knock on the back glass door holding up a rattle snake he had just killed with a BB Gun. She survived our fighting and bickering which was extensive, she never drowned us in the tub and on several occasions she saved our butts extra licks that Daddy had full intentions of giving us. Yay Mom!

We not only taught Mama some lessons, we gave her some life experiences.

We taught her the art of ignoring things and selective hearing. When my brother and his friend chained me to a tree after a fight and threw sticks and beetle bugs at me I screamed for help. My Mama's response was to shut all the windows, holler hush out the door and close it behind her. Daddy untied me when he got home.

When my Mama screamed "Ya'll are going to give me a nervous breakdown!" We taught her to tie a knot at the end of her rope and hang on. We pushed her just a little further and proved to her that she was stronger than she thought and she never made that trip to Whitfield and she never rocked that straight-jacket. I recognize my own children doing this to me, but my knot is sometimes loose and so I have already arranged for a blinged out straight-jacket in LSU colors.

Mom perfected the art of refereeing a fight. She told us to just take it outside and at that point she shut the door and we proceeded to fight until we were worn out.

Our Mom got to witness how fast a child on a sled can go when he pushes off head first down a straight down hill covered in a sheet of ice. She also learned how strong a tree can be hit without loosing anything but a little bark. During this particular life experience I watched her claw up a hill covered in solid ice like a cat climbs a tree to get her baby to a vehicle and to the hospital. I'm sure she had lots of grey to cover after that incident.

Mama learned the art of standing her ground when I was determined to dress like Madonna and date ANYONE who would ask me out just because I was impressed they asked. There were no lacey gloves in my wardrobe and dating guidelines were set in stone. She never budged. I have a 10 yr old girl....I'm still trying to figure out how to stand my ground that way.

I'm pretty sure Bill may have taught her to curse....although she never did so out loud and if she did EVERYBODY hid.

She learned to appreciate her car, hubcaps and all, as well as a gas tank above empty before we got our driver's license. I was only responsible for one hubcap and I'm still sticking to that story. Bill, to his credit, only ran her car to make sure the speedometer worked.....you know make sure the dial moved all the way around ...I guess you could say he tested out the engine and breaks in many different ways to make sure it was truly safe for her to drive. Such a thoughtful son at a young age!

The lessons we taught her in patience and forgiveness could not have been easy. I announced I was moving half-way across the world and getting married WITHOUT ANYONE for Heaven's sake. It was a bitter pill for them to swallow. As a parent now it breaks MY heart that I did that! But she still loved me through it....she didn't talk to me for about a week or so......but she loved me through it.

Mama tried her very best to instill nothing but loving goodness and kindness in us. She took us to Church.....sometimes dragged us.....because she wanted us to know the Lord and she wanted our salvation to be secure. She didn't drink. She very rarely ever cursed and was always very careful to always act a lady. Mama taught me the difference between being a woman and being a lady....she's a lady. She has a grace and dignity about her that some people may mistake as an emotional weakness, but she is anything but weak....emotional or otherwise. I hope that I am just half the lady she is.

She tried really hard to instill a love and respect for family. She made sure that not only did we have holidays with her family, but she also made sure that the same amount of time was spent with our other Grandparents. One was not more important than the other. My Dad's an only child so we're all that my Mamaw and Papaw Sanderford had. She was always very understanding of that.

I know it's still hard for her....missing her parents....missing the old traditions. Now that we are grown and she has grandchildren of her own I see the joy she gets from just having a little time with us or the kids. I love it when she calls all excited about a shopping trip she and Logan went on and tells me every little detail. I love the pure happiness in her eyes when she has her kids and grandkids together. Now that I have a grown child I understand my Mama more. I understand that gift of a visit on a special day or a call out of the blue just to say "hey". It's the gift that money can't buy.....just a little time.

Now that we have moved, I don't have the luxury of being there for those holidays or birthdays. I know it's part of life and circumstances. Don't get me wrong, I love every second of being with my husband and children, but there's just something special about being able to share a little time with the one who chose to give me life.

Father Time moves quickly and that is the sad reality that I have become more aware of with age. I never want to pass up a chance to make her happy or proud. She's never asked for much out of life....just to be loved, accepted and have time with her family. I hate that this year I won't be able to be there, but I hope that she knows that I am there in spirit.

I'm lucky in so many ways...lucky that she gave me life....but more importantly lucky that I was able to have my life with her. I can not think of a better Mama than ours and even now I still learn so much from her by her actions and examples.

So Mama if you are reading this know that you are loved and appreciated dearly.


P.S. Could you get that Mother's curse thing straight or lift it? I'm pretty sure that I got some of Bill's portion and that's just not fair


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