Of course the hot topic on all the blog this week is Mother’s Day and this blog is definitely inspired by Mother’s Day, but it is in no way about Mother’s Day. It is about my mother, Evelyn. She’s not just my mother either; she is EVERYBODY’S mother and the most amazing mother we all know.
“The Cheerleader”: My first memory of a social setting was when we moved from Alaska to Houston (yes, tragic enough) when i was 5 and I knew no one. She wanted me to be in girl scouts, but when we went to the door of the troop leader’s home for a meeting and I saw welt felt like 100 girls I didn’t know running around inside, I freaked! I clung to my mom like I’d seen a damn bear and refused to go in. She may have lectured me about being shy and needing to open up more, but I don’t recall that at all. I recall a warm hand on my back and a voice when I had none saying, “Ok, no thank you. She’s not ready”. I was supported.
At my soccer games, softball games, dance recitals, cheer competitions, and plays, she was there cheering me on as if I was the talent she’d paid money to see! I always felt like a star around my mom.
“The Medic”: There has never been an injury or a sickness in my life that my mother didn’t show up to support me through. Stubbed toe? Here she comes running down the street with a bandaid and peroxide. Lice? She’s got the anthrax kit for me (and every girl I went to summer camp with) and an equally disgusted face to match. Chicken pox? She’s sitting bathside while me and a pock-covered friend soak in oatmeal and she’s babysitting the rest of the kids we know in quarantine downstairs. I even remember having heart palpatations and high blood pressure at a drill team camp 2 hours away from home and calling her in the middle of the night to tell her the medics were coming. I practically had to beg her no to show up for that one.
“The Make-up Artist”: My mother’s home was where all the girls went when they needed “costuming” for any event. She would do everyone’s french braids, fish tails, top knots, spiral curls, hot rollers, crimping, etc. no matter the importance of the event. I don’t remember much make-up advice pursay, but I do remember her transforming me into a Goden Tamarin for my 5th grade school play about the rainforest, complete with black face and hair teased higher than Zsa Zsa Gabore.
“The Trouble Maker”: One of my favorite things about my mom is that she loved to get into “trouble” with us when it really wasn’t trouble. She was never scared she was being a bad influence, because she wasn’t a bad influence. She’s just always a good time, always up for fun and she loved being silly with us. I remember Chinese fire drills, food fights, water wars, playing in the mud, and literally dancing in the rain. My mother was the driver when we just had to wrap somebody’s house or we just had to shaving cream their driveway. She hosted the sleep overs where we’d stay up until 4:00 in the morning eating cookie dough, telling ghost stories, and going to the parks to play at midnight. She’s the one my friends would go to when they were having trouble at home, or in school, because they knew she wouldn’t rat them out and she’d be a good listener. I specifically remember returning from a party once in high school with 3 other friends, covered in grass stains (after running from the cops and hopping fences) with red stained lips from wine coolers and telling her it was koolaid and the stains were from Captcher the Flag. I assume she knew we were lying, but felt there was no need in getting mad because we were safe and she knew we’d never do it again (he he he).
“The Cook”: My mother did not only invent “Snack Plates” and “Balogna Boats”, but she was also the “cook” at summer camp 3rd-5th grade and youth retreats through the church after that. She hosted prayer nights, service nights, and youth hangouts at our house and I think she was a mentor to all the kids through her snickerdoodles and bean dip. She also reinvented Saturday morning breakfast! It started as just a family breakfast when my sisters and I were in high school as an effort to have some together time every week, but then a girlfriend, or two, or three, would spend the night. Or perhaps, a guy friend in the neighborhood would stop by in the morning and join us, or two, or three. Our breakfast quickly evolved into a sort of neighborhood event, and everybody knew where we were and what we were doing on Saturday mornings.
My mom is still all of these things to me and to my friends (and some strangers, lol). She has been my cheerleader through these last two years struggling with infertility, she’s been my medic at my procedures and will be my nurse post-op next week after a laprascopy. She will likely have warm blankets by the couch and socks for my feet as we watch endless movies during my recovery. She will have a clean house, plenty of soups and fluids, weighted comforters on the bed, black out curtains, and a fan for white noise in my room. She will ask me about myself, my husband, my students, and my girlfriends; all with genuine concern for everyone in my life. My mother is not just my mother; she is everybody’s mother, and she’s amazing.