My mom is younger than me. Well not technically, but in her mind she is. She is the true embodiment of 29 and holding. And being 29 for her is quite a stretch. The whole time I was growing up, she always used to say she was 21. I confusing a great deal of elementary school peers when I would announce my mom was 21… ” Your mom is 21??? Mine is 32!”
Her 21st year lasted until my brother and I enter our college years and became ‘her age.’ Then she decided she could be 25. Twenty-five lasted a few years, until I turned 25, then it was on to 29. When I turned 29, I asked her if she was bumping up her age again and I got a firm NO. And as I have trudged on into my 30s, my mom continues to live in ’29-year-old’ dream land. Dad doesn’t complain too much. Why would he? Every year he gets to be married to an even younger woman!
Being stuck at 29 creates a challenge when decorating a birthday cake. While my dad prefers to forge on ahead, line up those candles, and write her true age, I like to keep mom happy. (I still live by the rule… If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!) So I prefer to give mom a special “29” birthday equation every year. This year my mom turn the BIG (29 x 2) +2!!! (For those crazy people who don’t like to do math equations for fun… Momma’s 60!)
Now I know my mom cringes at the idea of thinking she is getting old. I know I’m biased, but I don’t see 60 when I look at her. I just see the incredible person that she is. She is that mom who has a beautiful smile that stretches ear to ear and a genuine laugh that warms the heart and brightens the room. She is that warm, friendly, loving mom who still makes cookies for every holiday and tells you she loves you on every phone call. She’s the mom that every one of your friends called mom and who made every one of your friends feel welcome in her home. She the mom that would listen and truly hear you, and whether you knew you needed it or not, would offer you incredible words of wisdom, many of which I still use and pass on today. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Because I’m that mom, that’s why. When you’re the mom you can do what you want.
This was usually addressed at my brother or myself when we were given a direction and questioned why. I could deal with it. I knew my day to be mom would come. My brother was a little more distressed by this. He said once, “But I’ll never get to be the mom!” To this, mom replied, “That’s right. You’ll get married, have kids, she’ll be the mom, and she’ll tell you what to do.” Poor, sad brother just dropped his head and walked away.
2. 19-year-old boys want things 16-year-old girls are not going to do!
My parents weren’t really the ‘talk about sex’ type of parents. This was her subtle way of bringing up the topic and banning it without having to talk about it.
3. Nothing good happens after 10:30 that couldn’t have been done before 10:30
How right you are mom! Everything after 10:30 is bore from stupid, boredom or stupid, drunken, boredom… either way, it was usually stupid and a really BAD idea.
4. Don’t you want people to look back and think, “Kerry was a nice person.”
Now, I have to admit, this piece of advice used to make me think that my mom wanted me to be a doormat. When I got older, I realized how wrong I was. No one has every pushed my mom around or forced her to do anything. She also does not sit quietly in the corner and agree with everyone. She is willing to speak up for what she believes in and stand her ground, but she is never rude, crude, mean, demeaning, or hurtful to others in the process. She is always nice, polite, and respectful. She is always kind to others and people remember that about her and love her for it. That’s definitely something to strive for.
I was blessed to be raised by such a loving, caring, and protective woman. I am thankful everyday that my children have her and that I have the relationship I have with her. If I can be half the mother to my own that she was to me, I’ll be doing OK.