The one where I talk about my mom

Since I've proclaimed this entire week "Mother's Week" (at least within the realm of my little blog here), it seems only fitting that I should move on the the part where I discuss my own mom. 

I've talked about Joyce before on my blog.  Perhaps you remember the dead chickens?  Or "It's easier if you do it"?  Here's another classic Joyce moment from back when I was living at home: She happened to walk through the family room as a commercial came on.  As she looked at the tv, she said, "What's gorving?"  All of us burst out in laughter.  It was an advertisement for the latest RV-ing craze, encouraging us to get out and see the states, to "Go RV-ing". 

For those of you who read this and know Joyce, you can probably think back on at least one  interaction you had with her that made you smile (or more likely laugh...probably at her expense).  I know everyone is a unique individual, but just like my Abby, my mom is one of those very unique individuals.

The mother-daughter relationship is destined to be complicated, no matter how perfect the mother or (especially, wink wink) the daughter might be.  I have tried to use my relationship with my mom as a model for how I want, hope, and pray to mother my children, and especially my girls.  There were things she did that I don't want to do, no doubts about that, but there are also a million and one lessons that she provided to me that I want, hope, and pray I can pass on to my kids.

She taught me:
  • How to entertain myself...by letting me be (and really, I think this is why my imagination blossomed, grew, and now resembles the brambles surrounding Sleeping Beauty's castle). 
  • The importance of regular worship and fellowship with believers...by getting us up every single Sunday for church.
  • Frugality...by taking me back-to-school shopping at Ames and the Village Thrift Store, while other parents were maxing out their credit cards at the mall.
  • The importance of paying our debts...by leaving me reminders to pay her back on post-its in my room if I borrowed 35 cents for a candy bar while we were out running errands. 
  • Compassion for others...by being a part of the Benevolence ministry, the Clothes Closet ministry, and a lifetime of doing for others.
  • That it is okay to cry...by letting tears freely flow no matter how many people were around to see them.
  • That I "have the rest of my life to work"...by prohibiting me from working in my early high school years so that I might enjoy my childhood.
  • That no matter how I perform she loves me just the same...by never putting any additional pressure on me beyond the pressure I was already putting on myself.
  • The value of family dinner...by providing a non-optional meal every night for our family of four.
  • That strangers are but friends we haven't yet met...by at least attempting to strike up a conversation with every single person within earshot no matter where we are.
I could probably go on and on, but I fear I might lose my readers if my obsessive-compulsive list-making should go beyond 10 items.  (I have to admit, I get the list-making from her.  I just like to think I do it in a neater fashion than on random shreds of paper all over the kitchen.  Maybe someday...)

My mom is definitely one-of-a-kind.  We can probably all say that.  And most of us probably mean it the endearing way I intend it to come across.  My mom is usually the life of the party, but, ironically, hates speaking in front of crowds.  She allows herself to be the brunt of many a good-natured joke, but suffers in silence when the jokes turn mean.   She knows no strangers, would give you the shirt off of her back, and avoids confrontation at all costs.  She sheds tears of happiness, sadness, and general no-reasonedness almost daily, but she balances the tears  with as many smiles and as much laughter.

I always used to think that I was more like my dad than my mom.  With each passing day, I realize that this is not necessarily true.  The reminder may come in the form of me forgetting that I warmed a cup of coffee up in the microwave, failing to be able to find my keyring in the abyss otherwise known as my purse, loading the dishwasher at some insane hour of the night, or kicking my way through a floor full of toys to make a walking path (instead of bending over to move them with my hands...which I swore I would never do).  With each reminder, that creepy thought of "Scary isn't it?" flashes in my brain.  But when I take the time to pause and think about it...being a little more like Joyce might not be so terrible after all.

The phrase "Never a dull moment" comes to mind.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!


Debbie said...

I was determined not to poke my fat nose into this one and make a comment, but here I am, the creepy comment lady.

I have to tell you that I remember very vividly meeting your mom for the first time. I'm sure that she has no recollection, but it made a great impression on me. She shared her heart with me and gave me some advice that day that I have never forgotten.

You come from good stuff, Jennie.

Poking the nose back out.

Jennie said...

Don't not poke! I love it! Too funny you remember meeting her. Was it at the barbecue or the tea? I can only imagine what she said to you! I'm not sure she was in an excellent place at that time, but we made it! ;)

Actually, I agree with you. I think she and my dad are pretty good people. I'll claim them as my own. (Most of the time.)

Debbie said...

It was the BBQ, and you'll just have to wait until your kids are teenagers to hear the advice. I'll check back in 2025 years to see if she's passed it along yet.

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