"Lotus pose". Mom held her legs in a 45 degree squatting position while spreading her arms one pointed north with the other south outside the rental van. She looked more like a little girl taking a break from homework than a serious practitioner of yoga. In her mid -70's mom is continually finding ways to make us all laugh and life just a little easier. # 1 rule mom taught~ don't take yourself seriously. That lesson has stayed with me through the craziness. Case in point. Our youngest at age 3 had the dexterity of a much older child. So, alone time for me was rare with her. She had an eerie ability to escape the house or get into trouble in a short amount of time.
So when she sat down for a Veggie Tales dvd one day I sprinted for a quick bath. I'd be done long before the show ended. The moment I stepped into the running water, the little darling was in the room with the phone handset stuck in her short fingers. I grabbed it before it went airborne. Somehow, I managed to keep my composure long enough to share information with our pastor that he needed and hung up.
Sinking down into the still warm water, I was congratulating myself for averting a possible disaster when my sweet girl shared in her little girl voice. "I told him you were naked."
#2. Life lesson I learned from my mom is to keep even the most trying times in perspective. When our middle daughter experienced turbulence in college, hubby and I were ready to call in a tactical force on her behalf. Mom listened to my worried diatribe while we watched our typically easy going daughter go through the consequences of her trip to the "other side of the moon." You know the time when your child/teen/young adult progeny decides to go "dark" and seemingly forgets every practical thing you taught them?
Mom gently reeled us in with this gem~ "Your daughter is a good girl who was raised in a God loving home. She will be fine."
Her words saved me from a load of grief when we needed to love on our girl. She and I have returned to a place of deep intimacy. Like mother (me) like daughter.
A word of encouragement to you parents of the "love you to the moon and back" adventurers...it WILL get better. :-D
#3 The world does NOT revolve around you. Yes, it's very simple isn't it? I used to question the good of my filling our glasses with milk for dinner. With very little hand eye coordination it was a chore. Years later I can see that I benefited from the discipline of working on my weaknesses but also learning to serve other people.
#4. Celebrate real accomplishments. You know how a kid gets a ribbon for showing up at events these days? If mom saw us working hard and getting an A on a truly hard subject at school or winning the prize after a job well done... she celebrated. One of my fondest memories is when she picked me up and swung me around the first time I made honor roll in grade school. She didn't brag about us either. In fact, I was in my 40's when she told me I was beautiful. When I asked her why she never told me that before, she said, "well you turned out great didn't you?" It was more important that I felt loved.
# 5 It's okay not to follow status quo. Both my parents worked outside of the home fulltime~ this was the 70's and women were entering the workforce, but not my mother's friends. You could say that mom was a front runner for the women who could bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. In fact, in her "spare time" mom made hand sewn baby doll outfits to match my sisters and my sundresses. For us, she was the original American doll clothes manufacturer.
#6 Mom extended mercy to those in need. After a hard day at work she cooked for her family and any leftovers went to a neighbor or a relative. If she wasn't serving someone than she was praying for them.
#7 Faith in God was a big part of my upbringing. When the Beatles went public with their declaration that they were more famous than Jesus everything related to the Beatles was pitched in the trash. Bracelets, records ...all of our precious Beatles paraphernalia. Honestly, I was really too young to understand back then, but my mom loved the Beatles. Taught me a huge lesson in putting God first in my life. A healthy dose of fear of God and strict discipline built a bedrock of faith that carries me through the rough times. Hopefully, a foundation that will be passed on by my own daughters and their families.
To all you hard working moms out there ~ know your time and efforts are never wasted. Happy Mother's Day!