Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Mom and Me

Well, it’s not everyday that your mom turns…oh, wait…haha…. Don’t worry mom, I won’t divulge your age to the world! (You’re not old anyway, so it doesn’t really matter, does it?) I have been racking my brain trying to come up with some super special way to honor my mom on her birthday. I’ve thought of top ten lists of why she is awesome. I've even considered poetry, and let’s just say that was quickly thrown out of the proverbial window. 

No matter what I thought of doing, nothing seemed to scream brilliance to me, and my mother certainly doesn’t deserve mediocre. But then it hit me, as these things often do, that in all of the ideas I had come up with I was led back to thinking of very specific memories of my mom. And then I thought, “Duh, Adrien. Why don’t you just share some of your favorite memories?” So, I think I will!

When I think back to memories of my mom and my childhood, I can’t help but think of her cooking. I grew up in a household where our family gathered around a single table for every single dinner, every single evening. Mom made her meals from scratch. I particularly remember the pork chops and the meatloaf… don’t ask me why! But the food we ate was definitely comfort food. There was no such thing as instant potato flakes in our house. We had the real deal chunky and thick mashed potatoes at almost every meal. We had hand-breaded everything all the time. I can remember watching her with great interest as she dipped our pork chops or chicken into egg yolk and flour and crumbs.

Now that I’m a mom myself, I must applaud her for this. I stay at home, and I’m still looking for ways to make things quick and easy! It wasn’t until I was in the fifth grade that I realized that this was different than the experience most of my classmates were having. We had a substitute teacher one day, and he asked us “How many of you sit down to eat dinner with your entire family every night?” Without hesitation my hand shot into the air. I can remember thinking, “Whew, I’m glad I can raise my hand for this one. I feel bad for the ones who can’t.” I was one of two kids with their hands raised. I was stunned. I was the abnormal one, here? Mom, have I ever thanked you for making me abnormal?

I can also remember my mom reading stories to me before bed each night. I’m sure there were dozens of different books that we read, but I remember one in particular. “Hansel and Gretel.” It scared me to death, haha, and somehow I can’t help but think my mom got a kick out of it. Every time she read the story, she used the same creepy voice for the wicked witch, which sent me flying beneath my bed sheets. I can still hear her to this day… “Nibble, nibble like a mouse, who’s that nibbling on my house?” Eee…still gives me the chills. :)

I remember making home made Christmas ornaments together in the kitchen one year. I thought it was the neatest thing, and I loved getting to paint and hang our very own creations. Yes, I know that I went through a terrible teenage period where I thought they were lame-o and didn’t want them on the tree anymore. I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings, mom. Teenagers have a way of doing that, don’t they? But nearly fifteen years later you would send a package to me at college around Christmas time with a few of those ornaments inside. It made me terribly homesick, and I just thought you should know that I don’t think those ornaments are lame anymore. They’re my favorites.

I remember living in the house on Main Street which was older and quite drafty in the wintertime. There were these old-style vents on the floor that were large and square, and sometimes when the heat kicked on we would run to the vents and stand on top of them until our baking little tootsies couldn’t take it anymore and we had to hop off. Haha. (And I can’t believe you were just a year or two older than I am now when those memories were being made. Holy moly!)

I remember sleeping on the living room floor together on couch cushions the last night we ever stayed in that house. I was so excited to move to a new place! 

I need to hurry up and fast-forward or we’ll be here for a week! Graduations, going to college, getting married, having my first baby girl…I’m so happy that my mom was able and willing to be there for all of it. I know not everyone is so lucky, and I truly do appreciate the blessing of having a mom to share those things with. So I'll just share my most recent favorite memory before I wrap things up here. 

It was last year, after my mom had hand surgery. She was off of work for quite a while before Christmas break, and we got together and baked Christmas cookies all morning long. Nothing crazy or particularly exciting happened (unless you count our butterless batch, haha, remember that, mom?), but it was a good time, and for whatever reason my mind is holding on to that memory more than any other in the past year or so. We MUST do that again this year!

I realize that these memories won't mean a whole lot to most of you reading this, but they mean the world to me. I'm sure everyone has at least a few fond memories from their past that they hold onto. I'm super lucky that so many of those experiences involve my mother. I wouldn't trade her for any other mom in the universe! So once again, a great big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mom. Here's to many, many more!


joyce said...

I love you, as tears run down my face, I want you to know God blessed me with you and all my wonderful children, I know I have made my share of mistakes over the years, I am so glad you remember some of the good times. And someday when your children have grown you can look back with pride also and say, what a blessing it has been, LOVE YOU, Mom

Kim said...

Hard to see what I am typing as I too have the tears running down my face. What a super tribute to your super mom. Isn't it amazing that sometimes it just takes "age" to make us realize the sweet things in life. This Friday will mark the 1st anniversary of my mom's promotion to heaven. And although I would not take that away from her for anything, there are days I long for her, to tell her how right she was about things, to share "grandmotherhood" with her........Thank you for loving your mom!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Adrien, you know how to make me cry. I loved the tribute to your Mom. She is very deserving of this. You are blessed to have her as your mom. She is so very proud of you. I have know her since she was a preschooler.

Helen Fowler said...

Hi it's me, Helen. I didn't intend to be anonymous. Thanks for honoring your mom on this special day.

Staci said...

You are truly blessed to have such a wonderful mom. My mom died about 2 weeks after my high school graduation. She missed my graduation, marriage, and birth of 2 of my 3 children. When people do not realize how blessed they are to have their mothers at those special times, it makes me very sad. Even though i too shed a tear, it lifts my heart to know that you understand how blessed you are to have your mother still with you.

Anonymous said...

ok so, you know me I'm not the crying type. but I am in the same position as you, realizing all the work our moms put into making those memories that we just thought popped out of thin air as kids. I told my mom recently that all I remember from my childhood were the amazing forts, I just thought we were able to create 3 story masterpieces that help our weight by ourselves, but my mom spent hours putting those together so we could tear them apart in minutes. yay for mommies!!


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