Best Mom Ever

Forgive me, but I must take a moment to brag.  My beautiful, talented, smart, intelligent children locked themselves in a room the other day and made this video for me.

Best Mom Ever.

WOW!  Amazing right!

Whenever Mother’s Day or Father’s Day rolls around, I’m reminded of the scene from Seinfeld where the two old men in the hospital are fighting over who is truly the ‘World’s Greatest Dad” and for a while, I was really cynical when I saw all these ‘#1______ ‘ or ‘World’s Greatest _______’  I mean seriously people, you all can’t be the best.  Only one of you can, that’s what #1 means after all.  All those awards are empty sentiments.  What a joke.

Then, I had my own children and began the never-ending cycle of joy, worry, elation, pain, wonder, stress, and absolute amazement.  I also began building my own collection of ‘Best Mom’ paraphernalia.  Little sticky hands would toddle over and pass me a sticky #1 Mom drawing.  Grinning ear to ear, energetic elementary kids would run to me happily waving the ‘World’s Greatest Mom’ flower pot they proudly painted all by themselves.  Too-cool-for-school tweens shyly pass me a heart-felt poem they agonized over, trying to get the rhyming and meaning just right.

And I realized something, all of these ‘Best Mom’ awards are all true.  We were all created to be the mom (or dad or care giver) to the beautiful creatures that God chose to give to us.  We were made specifically for them and are the perfect fit for their needs.  The fact that we try to be the best and do the best for them everyday, the fact that we care about all the little things they do and say, the fact that we love them during their failures as well as their successes means that we all have earned our ‘World’s Greatest’ awards.

So as you sit back this morning, eating your specially made and questionably edible breakfast in bed, remember you truly are, without a doubt, the #1, the BEST, WORLD’S GREATEST MOM!

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And your whole world changes…

 

You know those times in your life when you get a call and you know the information you are about to hear is going to change your life.  You know you need to get to your destination to hear the news, but you want to find something, anything to delay hearing what you have to hear, because you know once you hear it, you can’t unhear it.  Your whole life, your whole world view will forever be changed.  Your destiny, your plans will be altered.  Your foundation will be shaken.  You know you won’t shatter, but you’ll wound and need to heal and forever you’ll be a different person.

I got that call 16 days ago.  It was from my dad.  I needed to get to my parent’s house now.  I knew instantly that what I was about to hear wasn’t going to be good.  I could feel it in my heart.  It wanted to jump in the car right away and I equally wanted to shampoo all my rugs and then clean out the closets, anything to delay the inevitable.  I looked at my husband.  He told me to get in the car and go.  I told him I would.  Then I stood there, trying to come up with a good excuse to waste time.  I has none, so I got in my car and started to drive, ticking off the miles and landmarks.  That’s the last time I’ll leave my house in this reality.  Another street light, another crossroads.  I’m getting closer.  Wanting to turn back, to stop myself from having to hear it, knowing I couldn’t and that I had to keep moving forward.  I parked outside my parent’s house and turned off my truck.  I’m here.  This is it.  Once I walk in that door, my life changes….

~

My mom is and always has been my best friend.  Not in the “let you do what you want, I’ll even sacrifice teaching you responsibility and how to be an adult,” type of way.  No, quite the opposite.  She was the right type of best friend.  She was always a mother, always a parent.  I had rules, boundaries, and limits balanced equally with listening, patience, and love.  I could go to her with any concern, any question.  She was there for me at anytime, for anything.  If she was ever disappointed in me, I never knew, and I felt the appropriate amount of guilt to get me back on track.  She only showed love and support, care and encouragement.  My childhood is full of happy memories wrapped around my mother.

Every Sunday my mom and I would scan the ads and go shopping.  We would tell my dad that we were just going window shopping, but that never happened.  We would always end up finding something we couldn’t live without and have to sneak it in the house, convincing my dad that “this old thing” had been around forever.

To remain “hip” or “rad” to her children, she would make up her own slang.  I secretly think she just messed up the real latest slang, but she always played if off as the latest phrase.  Did you know that things could be “Hot Dog Good!”?  Or that sometimes people should just “cool out!”?

I bought my first cell phone in college, back when they still sold 200 minute plans and you paid by the minute through the nose if you went over.  For my 200 minutes, I paid something ridiculous like $30 a month.  (I know…$30 a month!)  I thought that there would be no way that I would go over my minutes, I mean, seriously, I was only going to use this phone for emergencies, like car trouble or being chased by a serial killer.  Then I got my first bill.  I nearly died.  I had gone over my time and owed extra per minute.  As I scanned the bill, I noticed all of my calls were to my mother…who I still lived with and saw every morning and night.

About 14 years ago, by husband took a job out-of-state and we attempted to move away.  We backed up our belongings and moved across the country.  Mom went with to help us move, planning to stay a week and take the train back.  She helped us pack, drive, move in, and unpack.  Long story short, we didn’t stay and moved back within a week.  Mom canceled the train ticket and helped us re-pack, drive back and re-move into the place with left a week prior.  She said that was the last time she went on vacation with us, our cats, and our furniture.

~

I walked into my parents house and was told the following words…. Your mom has cancer.  I can’t have heard that right.  My mom just turned 60, she can’t have cancer.  She just can’t.  This isn’t happening.  Life changed.  World forever altered.

The following two weeks were a whirlwind of worry, questions, waiting, hoping and praying.  Waiting for the oncology appointment.  Waiting for the surgery date.  Worrying about what the surgery outcome would be.  Worrying about what the future would hold.  Being afraid…so afraid of all the questions, that unknown.  There were just too many possibilities.  Wanting to hope for the best.  Praying for the best.  Praying that you’d done enough right in your life that you could trade those good deeds in for a big ol’ miracle.

Yesterday was the day.  Surgery day.  The day when we’d start to get answers and begin the road down one path or the other.  Best case scenario, the surgery gets all the cancer and mom just has to be monitored for make sure it stays gone.  Worst case scenario, it’s spread already and then the future continues to change.  I wanted so bad to say that we were going to hear good news, but didn’t want to tempt fate by verbalizing it.   We smiled, we hugged, we tried to ease each other’s fears.  The prayers had been put out into the universe and the rest was out of our hands.  They wheeled her down the hall to her future.

After what seemed like both and eternity and the snap of a finger, the nurse moved us to a private room to meet with the doctor.  The cancer was contained to the organ.  The cancer had not evaded the organ wall.  He was confident he got it all.  He has no reason to believe there will be the need for additional treatment.  He believes that got it all.

And then we all let out the breath we didn’t know we were holding in.

Our prayers were answered.

My mom has had cancer.

I know that she deserved every answered prayer and miracle she was given.

I’m not so sure that I did, but I’ll live the rest of my life trying to prove myself worthy.

 

It’s happened already

My daughter turned 12 just a few weeks ago and the unthinkable happened… I got dumber.  I knew it would happen.  I had hoped that maybe my sweet, innocent baby would skip the “my parents are so stupid” phase, but I was only kidding myself, for I too was once in her shoes.  My parents used to have a sign on the fridge that said …. GET OUT NOW WHILE YOU STILL KNOW EVERYTHING!   My brother and I mocked them and their lame sign.  Stupid parents think they are sooooo funny!  Then I moved out and darn it if they didn’t get instantly smarter!

I saw the warning signs about a year ago.  The dramatic “and then she said, and then I said” conversations started occurring.  The long drawn out stories about who wronged who and who wasn’t friends with who this week.  And the huffing and stomping… OH that huffing and stomping.  When that itty-bitty little word that starts with an N and ends with an O is muttered, all around had better take cover.  Overly dramatic sighing and huffing, followed by stomping away and pouting.

Why???  Why so early???  I knew I would have teenage girl dramatics.  I had hoped they would hold off for a while longer.  I worked to hard with her all those early years to be this stupid already!  Please, someone wake me up in about 10 years when I’ll be smart again!

Happy Mother’s Day

As I write, I’m sitting in the glow of my post mother’s day breakfast in bed, surrounded my the few sections of the paper I was given and my empty coffee cup, I had an epiphany……

We are all the best mother’s in world.  Every year, heck, everyday, you hear someone thank their mother for being the best, and they are right.

To each of us, our mother was the best mother in the world.  She was there for us when we needed her.  She laughed and cried with us.  She cheered us on to success and picked us up when we fell.  She was there with a hug, a kiss, or a tissue, whatever the situation called for.  She loved and liked us at our worse.  She was there  with advice when we needed it and bit her tongue when she knew we needed to learn the lesson the hard way to really understand.

Being a mom myself, I worry constantly if i’m doing X or Y correctly, if this or that decision will screw up my kids for life.  Daily I make mistakes, forget things, yell too loud, nag too much, get angry too quickly.  But I also know, I come running when they are hurt, I know their likes and dislikes, I listen to their stories and tales, I talk to them – not at them, I give hugs and affection everyday (even at school or in front of their friends – I’m your mom.  It’s my right.  Deal with it!), and I always, ALWAYS, tell them that I love them at least three times a day.

Despite all my screw up and what I’ve seen as disappointments, my kids still think I’m the best.  They still love me unconditionally.

We spend too much time beating ourselves up, having mommy wars, arguing one way of parenting is better than another.  The truth is the only vote that matters comes from the ones that we brought into this world.  And, if you ask them, they will tell you that you are hands-down, out-of-this-world, the best, A+, #1, WORLD’S BEST MOM!

Happy Mother’s Day to all my fellow #1’s!

Thanks for the material, Mom!

I didn’t know if I’d have any material for a blog today.  I don’t really plan my blogs, I just go through my day and if something happens or strikes me as hilarious, I roll with it.  Since its Saturday morning, I was guessing that my inspiration would come from something ridiculous from my children or one of their activities, when out of left field (pun intended) my mom scores a home run.

I play on a co-rec-softball league with my husband.  Now when I say play, I use that term loosely.  It truly is a rec team.  Everyone on our team is there to have fun every Friday night, no pressure, no ‘super-intense-we-have-to-win’ attitudes.  That’s good, because me, softball, and winning are not going to happen.

Every game I play right field.  I love right field, nothing happens there.  I have had exactly one ball skip to me in three games and luckily I caught it.  Now my throw back in to the infield was pathetic, but, again, I CAUGHT IT!  In every at bat, I have either struck out or hit a wimpy little roller right at the short stop and have been easily thrown out at first.  I have never got on base.  My dream at bat would be to be walked so I don’t have to look bad while getting on base for my team.  Hey, don’t laugh, it’s good to have goals.

Last night we won 9 – 4, our first win of the season.  Everyone else on the team played great.  Great, monster hits.  Scoring runs.  Amazing diving catches.  Me….  I struck out twice and was thrown out at first once.  Nothing was hit to me, so I didn’t drop or mess anything up.

When I got home, I put up the following post on Facebook

It’ official….. I suck at softball.  Fortunately, the rest of the team rocks!

To which, the unintentional joke of the day and the credit for the material for this blog goes to my mother, who responded…

You know your mother does not like people sending balls at your face!!!

Yes, mom, I know that, known since high school.

Thank you mom for the huge belly laugh, my sick sense of humor, and this morning’s inspiration!

Happy (29 x 2) + 2 Birthday Mom!

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.