Saturday, May 10, 2008

To My Momma

Dear Mom,

35 Years ago you celebrated your first Mother's Day. Of course I didn't actually arrive until a couple weeks later, but I'm sure you were celebrating just the same. You were technically a mother (because I had been giving you a hard time for months and that's what motherhood is all about.)

I know I've given you a good dose of gray hairs. Just getting me to practice the piano probably gave you the first dozen. I think back to all those mornings when we had to call a truce and refuse to speak to each other just so I could get to school on time without WWIII on the way out the door. (Strange, my girls and I have mornings like that on occasion - I've learned it's ok to just not say some things because my sleepy brain says they HAVE to be said). I also know it really freaked you out when I introduced you to boys that were special to me. Some of them were pretty frightening interesting and didn't always have my best interests in mind. But, some of them were very special and they became very special to you as well. I think that's great. You've always been a pretty darned good judge of character. I loved it when you told my husband today that if you'd known him earlier on, you would have let Dad give his little secret on getting a guy to kiss ya. Hello?

My hope is that I've given you just as many laugh lines (to go with those gray hairs) from all the fun times we've had together. Sure, some of them weren't necessarily fun at the time, but boy we can laugh about it now. How about the time you got Alyssa so upset when she was a tiny baby that she screamed so hard she passed out? My first instinct wasn't to laugh it off, because I was in that "first time mom, over-protective state" but I really was more concerned about your mental well-being. I knew Alyssa was ok, but the look on your face (and I can still see it!) was absolutely priceless. I'm not sure if you are in to torturing small babies, but the first day of Delayna's life when you clipped her tiny fingernails and drew blood you made me laugh too. Oh, I didn't laugh hard at that precise moment, because I'd just pushed that kid out of my body with hardly anything for pain (and darn, the size of that HEAD!), but it was funny that you screwed up, and I got to witness it. I enjoy giving you a hard time, because I know you can take it. The best part is, you can dish it right back.

Some of my favorite memories of us laughing hysterically are from women's retreats. We'd stay up all hours of the night, with various girlfriends, in our PJ's, drink hot cocoa and get all jazzed up on junk food and every single thing was funny. Snorting and honking and the wetting of pants was the highlight of the weekend. You'd think we were in an old folks home by the racket going on. Nothing beats a good laugh with a bunch of girls who have no capability or willingness to control themselves.

Not everything we've been through was funny though, but it sure made our family learn from our mistakes and grow together. You never laughed, I don't think, when I fell out of a tree and broke my arm... for the second time. I remember you hollering at Dad about his driving. The poor guy. He was probably calculating how much the medical bills were going to cost instead of the speed limit or the stop signs.

There was nothing funny about the time my ex-husband left me and the girls. I also don't remember you laughing during my emergency c-section or during the night I got my appendix removed. But, it was always my self-imposed job to start feeling better immediately to get back to putting a smile on everyone's face. You were usually one of the first to oblige. Whether it was out of nervousness or fatigue, I'll never know.

I admire your sense of adventure. There's a reason you got the name, Dora the Explorer, and it wasn't because you gave it to yourself. It's because you appreciate visiting new places, seeing how stuff works, and sharing that joy with everyone. My kids will grow up with a treasure trove of memories from all the little trips and adventures they have been privileged to be a part of because you initiated it. How many kids can tell their classmates, "Hey, My Grandparents are going on a trek to Israel!" Not many, I tell ya. (Don't worry, I didn't give your neighbors your travel dates, so your stuff should still be there when you get home.)

Anyway, to wrap up this dainty little note and in honor of Mother's Day (which for me is every day) I want to thank you for a few things.

Thank you for:

~Always keeping me drugged
(Drugged to church, drugged to school, drugged to piano lessons...)

~Shoving me around
(Into sports or 4-H or youth group)

~Helping me not be a complete loser
(You stayed up half the night so I could ace that Geography test in High School)

~Showing me that poor is cool
(Who else got to play with all that government cheese?)

~Teaching me that the insides of gizzards are full of interesting stuff
(Do I really need to explain this one?)

~Not explaining sex in too much detail
(I would have been totally grossed out forEVER if you had actually answered ALL of my questions at that time in my life)

~Letting me dream of being an Entomologist
(And for letting me keep all those jars of nasty bugs in my closet)

~Teaching me about the economy
(Do you have to leave all the lights on in the house??)

~Giving me a peek of what it must have been like to be Jesus
(SHUT THE DOOR, were you born in a barn??)

~But most of all, Giving me all the virtues of a Christian wife and mother (Really, you did)
You are awesome Mom, and if you forget to send me my copy of your Advance Directive and you kick the bucket while you're in Israel, you'd better hope you left the housekey under the mat so I can find the stuff I need without too much hassle. By the way, don't forget to turn off the lights when you leave.
Love you tons, forever and ever... I'll see you on the flipside of whenever.


Anonymous said...

Laughing so hard I'm crying.

Yes, I did celebrate Mother's Day a couple of weeks before my first sweetie was born.

Yes, your Dad took the Advance Directives to the Post Office today. Anyway, everything you would need would be within a few feet of the computer.

Whaddya mean "house key under the mat"? We gave you one once, did you bring it back? BTW, Karla Peters has one for while we are gone on this trip.

We promise to have a blast and tell you all about it. No need at all to fear growing older. My bunch is proving it is just another adventure!

Still your anonymous

Farm Chick said...

*sniff* I could't finish this all at once. *snort* I had to take it in spurts, between my laughing and then flat bawllin' like a baby (hoping not to pass-out, like sis)

I am so blessed that you have shared your momma with me over the years.

Toni said...

Beautiful letter. I love it when moms are great. Thanks for sharing.

By the way, can I come on the next retreat? It sounds awesome! I love laughing so hard that whatever I'm drinking comes out my nose. What? That doesn't ever happen? Oh well, it sounds like a blast anyway!