Sunday, October 14, 2012
To my mom, the meanest mama in town.
Yesterday, my mom became the right, bold age of 27 (or was it 29? I often lose track). How she ever had nine full-grown children before turning 30, I have no idea, but good job Mom!
When we were younger, I think all of us were much more afraid of my mom than our dad. Dad never got mad often and if he did, it was at the computer or radio he was trying to fix. But my mom was a different story. She was our disciplinarian, and had the arduous task of turning all of us into responsible and upstanding citizens. We were horrible children truly, and I know that Mama could be exalted based purely on having to put up with all of us. If one of us were doing something wrong, she would get this hellish look in her eye and snap her finger, and we knew that if we wanted to survive to see the light of day we best quit whatever shenanigan we were up to. The sound of a snap still makes me a bit skittish. And I only ever remember being spanked once in my whole life because that one spanking was enough to stop me from ever doing wrong again.
But as I've grown older, I've realized that my mom is not really that mean of a mama at all. Even though she used to grit her teeth and claim that she was just such a mom.
If I could grow up to be the sort of mom that my mom was for me, I think that I'll have got it right. I've always been very aware of my mom's love for all her children (and her multitudes of grandchildren), which she displays in many ways, from her competitiveness and practicality to the massive amounts of food she cooks for all of us when we come home. For my mom, two things really matter: the gospel of Jesus Christ and her family. If anything else threatens to compete with those things, she cuts it out of her life. She has no room for things of little or no importance.
And the culmination all those years of being threatened with snaps and sharp looks have only led me to realize that my mom wanted us to be able to see those things which mattered most and treat them with the proper respect. And thanks to her, we're all relatively normal people. Our flaws and mistakes we picked up on our own, and have no reflection on our dear mother. She taught us what was right and what was important, and if we failed to catch on, it was not because she didn't try her darnedest.
So mom, I love you and I thank you for spanking me that once giving me that "mean mama" look when I needed it. You are the woman I hope to grow up to be and I am so glad to have grown up enough to realize what a great mom you have always been. And I hope that someday I'll be a mean mama just like you.