Other Mothers (in order of appearance in my life)
(I haven’t nearly listed all of the “Mothers” in my life. This will always be an incomplete work that I will add to when I get inspired.)
I believe we all have many mothers. We have the mother that carried us a fetus and as an infant. We have the mother who stands in for mother while we are away from home. We have the friend who is a mother when we need someone to complain to or who will celebrate our victories. We have the mother who is the rock in our lives on different occasions. The mother who is related to us, the mother who is not. The mother who married into the family and the mother you have only known for a few months. We are all mothers and we can all be “other mothers”.
I have a mother. Her name is Dora, DoraJean if you really know her. She taught write in a journal for me at age three, so I could learn to love writing. She taught go to storytime at the library to discover new places, new adventures, new stories to fall into. She taught Sunday breakfasts, Mexican chicken casserole and Friday popcorn nights, air popped popcorn with two scoops of butter and plenty of salt. She taught Gone with the Wind and North and South and that the book is always better than the movie. She taught Michael Jackson music is for cleaning, Pink Floyd is for travelling and Kenneth Cope is for Sundays. She taught love your husband and go on weekly date nights. She taught rolls should always be homemade and Ghirardelli boxed brownies are the only way to go. She taught embarrassing your kids in the grocery store by singing along to the music and pushing all the buttons at the same time on the noisy kid’s toys while in Walmart. She taught missionary work will change lives, especially your own. She taught unwavering faith in Jesus Christ. She taught practical, resilient and uncomplaining. She taught be happy with what you have, be grateful for what you have. She taught family comes first.
I have a mother. Her name is Michelle. She taught the most painful arm punches of my life. She taught love your children and they will be your best friends. She taught work on your hair and wear mascara and perfume, even if you are going to the grocery store. She taught going through difficult times and coming out on top and with a positive attitude. She taught patience with frustrating people and acceptance of unchanging people. She taught surprise Krispy Kremes at the airport, detailed cupcakes and late nights working to help with the bills. She taught a care package in college with Campbell’s chicken corn chowder soup, still my favorite. She taught a single mother is enough and that independence is a special quality. She taught family comes first.
I have a mother. Her name is Jenny, Jennifer to most. She taught this is where all your Summer babysitting money goes when you squander it, by laying out all of my purchases on the floor. She taught spur of the moment and spontaneity. She taught Target is the better store. She taught patience with trying children and be nice to yourself and that a cluttered counter is ok. She taught confidence in who you are and who you can become. She taught rescuing college students with $60 to their names by buying them groceries to last for months (E.L. Fudge cookies included). She taught empathy. She taught always meet up with family when you are in Las Vegas. She taught supporting through texts and phone calls and constant encouragement. She taught family comes first.
I have a mother. Her name is Vicki. She taught have enough food in the house so friends will come over and you can be involved in their lives. She taught what is mine is yours. She taught including your kid’s friends in family dinners and never making them feel awkward. She taught feel beautiful at any time. She taught generous. She taught picking up right where you left off, even though you haven’t seen each other for years. She taught that family comes first.
I have a mother. Her name is Lanae. She taught homemade white bread, the softest and crustiest like Mother’s brand bread. She taught come stay at my house for the weekend and get a respite from college woes and work. She taught a laugh full of love and eyes twinkling with happiness. She taught acceptance and understanding. She taught support of a husband constantly involved in church, sports, activities. She taught it is never too late to remodel your house. She taught have a hobby and enjoy it, but don’t let it get in the way of your real goals. She taught always help out and having trying children doesn’t make you a bad mother. She taught family comes first.
I have a mother. Her name is Candy. She taught me late night grocery shopping with teenagers will always conclude with a dozen donuts. She taught dollar store is sometimes better and don’t spend more money than you need to. She taught makeover what you have and it can become new again. She taught make enough food for an army because some nights you might be feeding one. She taught hard work is its own reward. She taught that listening is the way to get into your kids’ hearts. She taught kids are in stages and will always be in a different stage and that is ok. She taught kid’s stages don’t last forever and someday those kids will be having kids. She taught that praying is the answer to all problems and that God has a purpose for us all. She taught projects will help maintain your sanity during hard times. She taught late night help with teenager’s projets, homework, and do your best work. She taught laundry should always be kept up on. She taught shopping is therapeutic and mom needs some time alone too. She taught family comes first.
I have a mother. Her name is Heidi. She taught life is for laughter, the kind of laughter that starts in your belly and bursts forth with a great gusto. She taught provide Keebler products off of her husband’s delivery truck to poor college students, EL Fudge cookies if we were lucky! She taught to love deeply and friends are family, no matter how long you have known the friends. She taught homemade food equals love and love should always be shared. She taught make Blake go home from work because he has been working way too many hours! She taught that your babies will always be your babies, even when they have their own babies. She taught family comes first.
I have a mother. Her name is Monica. She taught snuggling with your kids even when the house isn’t picked up. She taught laughter, kindness and service and that carbs heal most things. She taught pick up the phone even if it is your sister-in-law calling to cry over her recent difficult move. She taught sacrifice for family and travel far distances because it is the right thing. She taught patience with sick kids, constantly working husbands, a late visa, tiny houses and not enough money. She taught silly fun with kids and to document your memories in photos. She taught family comes first.
I have a mother. Her name is Laurie. She taught Dr. Pepper, McDonald’s kid’s lunches so moms can talk about their sweet and naughty kids. She taught keep moving forward after having a stillborn baby girl and you want to stay in bed all day, but you don’t. She taught accomplishing tasks throughout the day with your children in tow, even to Walmart, the most painful store for me. She taught a clean house is a way to maintain sanity. She taught kids deserve fun times and fun birthday parties. She taught empathy, a listening ear, and an honest (even brutally honest) opinion. She taught kids don’t always need to be entertained by their moms. She taught family comes first.
I have a mother. Her name is Deb. She taught perseverance through poor choices and stand up for yourself. She taught surprise flowers, birthday gifts, birthday cards and just because. She taught ask, “How are you”? She taught tight hugs, love and a very surprise baby shower three days before you move to Iowa. She taught be a good grandma. She taught family comes first.
I have a mother. Her name is Sarah, but she would rather be known as “older sister”. She taught driving around to check out rentals for a stranger who lives far away and can’t do it for herself. She taught serve others even though you have Lupus and a lot of pain. She taught that you push through obstacles and come out on top. She taught bring a surprise Dr. Pepper and love a family with all their faults. She taught be true to friends and true to family and real loyalty, no matter how “annoying” that might be! She taught family comes first.
I have a mother. Her name is Barb, Grandma Barb to the kids. She taught adopting neighbor kids as your own grandchildren, disciplining them as your own and loving them as your own. She taught hard work, gardening even when it’s morbidly humid and patience with a husband with Alzheimer's. She taught share opinions as a friend and an honest opinion, without prejudice. She taught being a neighbor can be a best friend. She taught relax and enjoy and sit on the swing out front to watch the sunset. She taught say “Hello” to everybody, even if they don’t say “Hello” back. She taught family comes first.