Of all of the ways my mother has inspired, helped with, and taught me… the most imperative thing she taught me was how to raise a kid who needed creative, hands-on parenting. In my heart, I know Mr. Awesome wouldn’t be my son, if not for my mom (She literally is the one who told me to open my eyes and heart to Mr. Matrimony. She also said, if YOU don’t call him, I WILL!). My son also wouldn’t be the person he has become. Not that I nor my mom are the reasons for his awesomeness…. He did that on his own. Being the catalyst to help get him out of his situation is more what I was responsible for. He was 17 when he entered my life. Emotionally, and socially, he was much younger.
I don’t think I was the easiest kid to raise. Not that I was bad. I was just all over the place. I was always the one at the top of the tree. Or the fence. Or the rock…
Precocious is a word I’ve often heard to describe how I behaved as a child. We didn’t know it back then, but my type of “precocious” had a label. ADHD. I’ve asked Mom if she would’ve changed anything about the way she raised me had she known about ADHD meds. She told me, “NO”. It wasn’t so much her answer that soothed my questioning heart, it was the way she answered. Her response was swift and unwavering. Now that I’m writing about it, it makes me think… I wonder if it was something Mom had asked her own self. It must have been. It isn’t a question one can answer immediately without thought as to weighing out the pros and cons.
Or is it?
This is me…
I was like, 2 weeks old when I was born. Or more. I look like a 3 month old, don’t I? This picture was taken before they took me home for the first time!!! My poor mom… I was 10 lbs. 3 oz. She had me with NO drugs. Once, I asked her if they even had drugs back then. She told me they did, and I asked her if she was crazy!!! Well, she’s not. She didn’t think it would be good for me. She’s so awesome. She has put her kids first since day one. Now, we are at approximately day 17,948 since my brother was born, and her journey putting us first began. Even though thousands of miles separate us, I know that I’m still at the top of her list.
I was off at a run from the beginning. I’m fairly sure I ran before I walked. I also talked a lot. Like a LOT. Mom says my first word was a paragraph and it started with, “I do it my-TELF!” Probably she’s not exaggerating. Most of the pictures of me when I was little are with my mouth open….
Okay, maybe my mouth wasn’t always open…
Mom was always keeping us kids involved in all sorts of activities. She was my Brownie and Girl Scout leader, my chauffer for piano, violin, viola, and cello lessons,
my long haul truck driver for horse shows (it was because of her that I loved them since I was very little),
and my driver’s training teacher. She took me to Friday Night Ice skating (she taught me how to skate on the cow pond we lived next to when we lived in Missouri)
and Saturday Night Dances with my LDS friends from “over-the-hill”. Mom taught me to cook (the good ol’ Southern way), and bought me a corsage when the creep I asked to the Sadie Hawkins dance didn’t have one (I think she had a back up corsage for every dance, just in case they were all creeps).
My mom crafted a lot and pretty much taught me everything she learned as she went along She took me with her to tole painting classes, helped me pour wax into the sand at the beach to make candles, and showed me how to cross-stitch. We painted on clothes together, dried and arranged flowers, and made wreaths.
Here is Mom’s craft room when I was growing up….
And my craft room now
Complete with my own cement block wall (just like hers!)
Every time I find an old box of stuff in the basement, something from my past with mom and crafts is uncovered. Just last week in a box she left when she moved back to her childhood home, I found these books….
The lessons Mom taught me about crafting are all tied in to my love of the 100 year old house Mr. Matrimony and I are restoring.
Here is our home now….
And how it was when we were first married….
Restoring my parents own 100 year old home, Mom worked her fingers until they bled. I really don’t remember my dad doing actual “hands-on” work like my mom did. Here’s what my childhood home looked like after Mom worked her magic on it.
Note: In the near future, I’ll do a story on the house I grew up in; complete with period furniture, wall & window coverings, appliances, and all the other lovelies we had back then.
Most of all, she surely she was also my guardian angel because I was injured so often (something like 9 sprained ankles, a concussion, ski-injury-knee that required surgery, and 2 broken toes at the same time) there’s no way I would’ve survived without an angel, or at the very least, a prayer warrior looking out for me. That was Mom. It could have been worse. She could have left me to my own devices and who knows what would’ve happened to me! But no… she parented me. That was my ADHD medication. My story was written on my mom’s heart and she turned each page, making sure none were stuck together. When pages were frayed, and the letters smeared with my tears, her own tears wiped them away. She savored those chapters. Not with joy, but with necessity that is takes for a mother to help get the story right.
Mom, I want your story to be written on my heart so that I will not forget and you will have a legacy to continue until the end of time. We have many more chapters together and each one is better than the one before. The one we are in now, is especially good! Thank you for guiding me. For teaching me. For parenting me.
Thank you for never giving up.
Thank you for being there until I finally got things right (i.e. Kelly and “The Call”).
Thank you for being my inspiration for this blog. For helping get my creative juices flowing. (I really am going to do the post with the plant starters!)
Everything good that I am is because of you. Without you, I wouldn’t have my relationship I have with my husband, my son, or with God.
Sometimes, I wonder what it would have been like to be your friend when you were young.
But in researching for this post, I’ve been reading the comments in your yearbook, notes from your friends, and writings from the backs of pictures of cute boys. I’ve decided you were too precocious for me. Being your daughter has turned out better than any other relationship would have. I guess God really does know what he’s doing.
Thank you for being the one BFF that has lasted my entire adult life.
I love you Mom.