Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my Mom's birthday. My Mom is my idol, and although there are plenty (PLENTY) of things we don't agree on, I strive every day to be the kind of wife and mother that she is. Growing up, she was a stay-at-home mom, and she never ever made it seem like a chore or a hardship. She stopped going to college after only one year because she couldn't afford it, but I never felt like she had "settled" by having kids and staying home instead. She loved taking care of us and our home, and that earliest model of loving the home life inspired me to strive towards the goal of being a stay-at-home mom myself. Of course, there is no way, in my mind, that I can ever reach the level of homemaker that she was. I guess in some way it's because she'll always have years of experience over me. Perhaps when she was just starting out, like me, she often felt like a less than perfect SAHM. However, I never saw that!

My mom is a great cook. She always has a hot meal on the table, my dad always compliments her on her dinners, and she seems to truly enjoy cooking for her family. She also loves to bake, and so growing up, we always had a home-made dessert to eat after dinner. (I was the only kid in school who begged for store bought treats, because we never had them. All the other kids would clamour to eat my mom's homemade things.) In fact, the day she brought my little sister home from the hospital, my older sister and I wanted to make brownies. When Stephanie came home from the hospital I felt like a truck had hit me, and I could barely stand up. But my mom helped us make brownies, and there are pictures of her holding a newborn while reading baking directions to us. Amazing. I actually prefer baking to cooking myself, but I havn't yet figured out how she found the time to cook, clean, do laundry, take care of us kids, and still bake every day. I'm working on it.

Growing up, our house always seemed clean. My mom would scrub the floors and the bathrooms, dust, vacuum, and pick up clutter constantly. If she ever struggled to get it done, or felt annoyed that she had to do it all, I never knew it. (Until I got older of course, and she made me start pulling some weight. You know, the HORROR of having to clean your own room and make your own bed.) I'm sure she did struggle, and there were days she resented doing it. I know that now, because there are times when she'll complain about my dad not doing things around the house, and why should she do it all, etc. But the point is, growing up, she never allowed me to see that. I never felt like she was bitter about anything, and I truly don't think she was! I just think now she'd rather have the free time to spend with her grandkids, and would much prefer that over housework.

Holidays were my moms real area to shine. She made them all special, even the smallest and most mundane. She had boxes of decorations for every holiday, and would decorate our house about a month before the actual day. She would have crafts and special baking projects that we would do leading up to the big day. On the day itself, she would dress us up special and send us off to school (if it was minor holiday) with festive cookies, lunches, napkins and other snacks. She truly made the holidays special, and still does! She loves doing it, and loves spoiling all of us. I think that out of everything, this is the trait I inherited the most. I ADORE the holidays. My daughter has the festive outfits, I have the boxes of decorations, and I try to do at least one special baking or craft for each holiday. I will always be thankful to my mom for passing on this love of celebration to me.

The best thing about my mother is how much she genuinely, truly, loves us all. I grew up surrounded by her love, and I still feel it every day. So today, a day all about her, I hope that I can, in some way show her how much she means to me. I hope that she will know how special she is, and how blessed I am to have her for my mother.

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