If your mother is anything like mine, it can freak you out when you find yourself saying or doing something the way she does. My mother is truly saddened when she sees a young lady (like myself) who chooses not to wear make up or fix her hair. It drove me nuts growing up. I was a tshirt and jeans kind of kid. I don’t think I ever actually fixed my hair until….well….11th grade? Seriously. And that was only occasionally. I refused to wear contacts until then, too. In hind sight, it is hilarious to me that these things bothered her. She is the one who taught me to never pay full price for anything. Abercrombie and Fitch was robbing people if they thought she was going to pay $50 for a tshirt. SHE WAS RIGHT. That is insane. It’s a piece of cotton that has A and F on it. YOU are PAYING Abercrombie to walk around and advertise for them. When I was very little, I’m sure she fixed my hair, but once I got old enough to dress myself and whatnot, she never really said, “Okay, Becca. This is how you fix your hair.” She didn’t pick out my outfits. I did. I had the opportunity to make my own decisions and I chose to do what required the least amount of effort possible. Which drove her nuts. Which drove ME nuts. We were very different people. I was an early teen who hated school, girls who care about A and F, and most of all, my mother. She. Was. The. Worst. She wanted me to study. She wanted me to do my homework. She wanted me to SWEEP THE DINING ROOM LIKE I WAS SOME SORT OF HOUSE ELF. What was wrong with her? She was upset with me when my teacher called her and said that it looked like I may have forged her signature on my report card. WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO, MOM?! I GOT A C IN HISTORY! She even made me call and apologize to my evil teacher like it was MY fault that she noticed that my mother’s handwriting looked different. Then, when I decided I wanted to join a softball team because my best friend was doing it, she wouldn’t let me quit. IT WAS HOT! I was an awful softball player and she still made me stick with it until the end of the season. She came to every game just to make sure I went. Or to root me on. I don’t know. Moms, right? Ugh! Now, as an adult, I find myself doing things the way she did and it just totally freaks me out. Here are some things I have to blame on my mother:
1.MY FRUGALITY-I think mom may have unintentionally created a monster. By forcing me to work and earn my own money, and forcing me to (God forbid) buy my own clothes in high school, I learned that money really doesn’t grow on trees. You have to earn it and spend it wisely. Because of her (and my husband’s awesome money-managing skills), I live a debt free life. It is an incredible feeling to not owe anything to anyone. We don’t make much. We live happily within our means-and I don’t buy things I don’t need without giving it some serious thought.
2.MY COMPASSION-This might surprise some people because “The Debbie” can be a very intimidating woman, but she has always been quietly compassionate. She seriously cares when her friends are going through a rough time. She feels ill when someone she loves has been wronged. She buys impoverished families Christmas presents and sends shoe boxes to children in third world countries. She gives without expecting to receive because it makes her feel good. I like to give, too. She took me to pick out items for children and explained to me how their lives were different from mine, and how we never know what someone else is going through. She was always very good at making sure I understood how lucky we were. I have never been a very jealous person. I have no desire to “keep up with the Joneses” because I know that we are doing just fine, and that others are fine with much less.
3. MY SENSE OF HUMOR-I feel like my Dad is going to read this and go, “Hey! What about me?!” Yes, Dad, I get my sense of humor from you, but this is a mother’s day post so today I am talking about Mom. My mom is HILARIOUS. I think because Dad was always “the funny one”, she is unaware of how funny she actually is. She is quick-witted and loves a good pun. One time, we were so tired driving home and we ran out of things to talking about, so she just started waving at every mailbox we passed by saying, “Hey.” I joined in. It was the dumbest and most hilarious things ever. It was really….so stupid-but Mom and I have an amazing connection that allows us to find humor in anything. She is silly and silly is the best way to be.
4. MY STRENGTH-Mom has always been my rock. She is strong in tough situations. I have definitely found her strength within myself. When my grandparents needed to move to a nursing home, when my father had a heart attack, when something terrible happens to anyone I love, I feel the need to be the strong one. Mom and I both do this. It’s like we remain numb and strong during the tough situations, making sure everyone else is okay, and then we break down privately. I’m not sure if this is necessarily good for either of us, but it feels good to be there for someone else. We have the ability to turn off our emotions in order to support those we love.
5.MY APPRECIATION OF MUSICALS-Okay, y’all. I know this is a weird one, but it’s close to my heart. I remember the first play mom took me to see at The Fox. It was The Secret Garden. I loved it. She always took me to events like these and I think because we went so often, I grew to appreciate it at a young age. If a musical is good, I cry every time. I appreciate the beauty of it just like mom does. It’s something I will be able to enjoy for the rest of my life. I will never see a musical without thinking of my mother.
6.MY DESIRE TO TRAVEL-There are so many people who are perfectly happy in their little bubble. It’s fine with me, but I don’t get it. Mom was always planning trips to new places. Even the years when we didn’t have much, we would go to the mountains and rent a cabin. I love cities. I love nature. I love going ANYWHERE. She always found interesting things for us to do wherever we were and taught me to care about the history of the places I visited. I also think traveling really makes a person appreciate all the different types of people in the world. It reminds me that my way of life is not the only way of life and that there is more outside of middle Georgia.
7. MY POSITIVITY-Don’t get me wrong. Debbie and I can BOTH be pretty darn negative in certain situations, but when things get real, we both stay positive. I will never forget when she said Dr. Coussens was pretty sure she has breast cancer. This was before biopsies or anything. Because mom is so strong, she tried so hard not to act upset, but because she knows that I know her too well, she broke down. As I was crying in her lap, she said, “I promise I will be here for your wedding. You are going to have children, and I am going to meet them.” She meant it. She had decided that this cancer was BS and she wasn’t going to let it get her. From then, until she was cancer free, we watched nothing but comedies. Everything we watched was funny or happy. We told jokes. We made a plan to laugh as often as possible, and we did.
8.MY APPRECIATION FOR RESPECT-I cannot stand when a person is disrespectful. So much, in fact, that I cannot allow others to disrespect me or others to disrespect those around me. This might not be the most lady-like trait, but I cannot help it. Mom always taught me respect for others. I have good manners and anytime someone else doesn’t, it seriously makes me cringe. This might be one of our faults. When someone is being rude to me or those around me, it is nearly impossible for me to “turn the other cheek”. Fault or not, it’s what makes me who I am.
I am SO my mother’s daughter. Somehow, my adult vision kicked in one day and I realized why she did the things that she did. I still feel guilty about how angry I was with her over the most basic things. I was so ungrateful and ignorant. It’s fascinating to look back at different events of your childhood and see them from another perspective.
So, mom, thank you for being the worst. Thank you for never giving up on me even when you thought I might just turn out to be a bad egg. Thank you for disciplining me and making me get a job. Thank you for showing me the world and reminding me to say “Yes, ma’am.” and “No, ma’am.” Thank you for making me apologize to my teacher for lying. Thank you for believing me when I wasn’t lying about cheating on that test. Thank you for forgiving me when I was so awful to you. Thank you for telling me to leave the room so you wouldn’t have to hurt me. Thank you for knowing that I have emotions that will come out when I least expect it. Thank you for taking me to see my grandparents regularly. Thank you for making me talk to new people. Thank you for talking me into trying every ride at Disney World. Thank you for wonderful family vacations and magical Christmases. Thank you for encouraging me to be creative. Thank you for our inside jokes. Thank you for staying positive and finding your happiness. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.