Things I’ve Learned From My Mother

“The older I get, the more I become like my Mother!”

“I’m turning into my Mom!”
You hear these phrases often when you hang out with women my age. These statements are usually followed by “Aaarrgghhh”, “UGH!” and general moans and groans of realization that the apple, indeed, does not fall far from the tree, for better or worse.

Here are some things I’ve learned from my Mom over the years, and ways that I see her in myself:

1. Read.
Read books, magazines, newspapers, read anything and everything. Mom loved true stories and always passed them on to me.

2. Always listen to or make music.
Our house was full of music. Music of all kinds. Classical, Old Hymns of the Faith, Country, Folk Music, Big Band… And of course Mom playing the piano, practicing for church, playing for Dad’s solos, for his quartets; Mom singing duets with Dad, playing her flute…always music.

3. Watch Awards Shows, especially the Country Music Awards.

4. Hold Babies.
If there is a baby around, hold it. There is this sound that Mom makes when someone is putting a baby in her arms. Kind of a coo, but it comes from a place deep inside her.

Mom with Oliver last weekend

5. When you have something important, life changing, to tell someone, have them sit down.
I knew something was important, whether good news or bad news, if Mom came in my room and patted the bed and said “sit down Honey”. Or she would invite me to sit next to her on the couch, or on the porch swing, and always pat the spot next to her. That is how I learned a new baby was coming (Ronnie), that Grandpa Roy was getting worse, a family friend’s teen age daughter was pregnant (even though I didn’t know how babies were made yet and why this was significant), and when I was ten years old it was in this way that Mom told me about the “joys of womanhood”, (menstruation) in my bedroom on Carl Road.

6. Support your man’s dreams. Even if they are completely crazy and unattainable.

7. Don’t give advice unless asked. (I’m not very good at this, sorry)

8. Cry. A lot, and without holding back. Whether a sad movie, a happy movie, a sweet Hallmark commercial, hurt feelings, empathizing with someone else’s pain, or cutting your leg, just let it all go, wash it away in a sea of tears!

9. Laugh. A lot, and without holding back. Laugh during family dinners when your kids are hilarious. Laugh when your husband says something funny. Laugh at a funny movie and at the witty things young children say. Just throw your head back and Laugh Out Loud, and even better if you end up with tears streaming down your face.

10. Practice Hospitality. Your home is your ministry. Open it up and let people come in. Have them over for dinner and invite them to stay for breakfast. There is always room for one more or five more, and an extra dog if they have one.

11. Greet everyone you see with a smile and a warm hello. Mom makes friends everywhere she goes, whether to the local grocery, the Doctor’s office, or another city. Within minutes of meeting a person she knows their name, where they went to highschool, the names and ages of their children and the 6 people they have in common.

12. Acknowledge that Life itself is God-ordained and do not casually accept the nearing of it’s end, but fight and hold on to that very Life with everything in you, not because you are afraid of death, or you aren’t ready to meet your Maker, but because He is the one who gave it to you and it is precious and His intent was to for us to live it. Plus, there’s still way too much going on down here that you just don’t want to miss out on!

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Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I love you.

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