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Mirror Mirror On The Wall,… I Am My Mother After All

January 25, 2007

At various times when I was growing up, my Mom used to warn me that, “Someday you’re gonna know what it’s like to be a mother, and you’ll thank me someday!” I never believed her, usually because this comment would get used when I was being a particularly difficult child. (I know, I know, it’s impossible to even imagine me as other than perfect,… but stranger things have happened! *snickers*)

But Mom was right. (That crash you heard was my mom fainting from shock. Don’t worry, she’ll be fine.) I’ve only been an “official” mother for 4 months now, and already I’m more like her than I ever thought possible.

My Mom is pretty special (and deserving of the capital “M” in Mom). She not only had six kids, she decided to forgo her career in nursing to be a stay-at-home mom and take care of us. At one point she was homeschooling several kids, from kindergarten to high school. I remember freshly baked whole wheat bread and homemade applesauce vividly when I think of my childhood – my mom always went the extra mile to make sure we had the best she could give us.

Even though Mom was insanely busy, she made sure each of her kids knew they were special. This past Christmas she gave me a teapot, because we used to tip-toe down the stairs in our creaky old house when all the younger kids were asleep and brew a pot of tea together. It was our special mother/daughter time together.

As I grow older, I have a new depth of understanding regarding my Mom. Not only was she completely devoted to her children, but she did so in an environment that most would consider unbearable. My dad was abusive, mentally, physically and emotionally, and he could not stand the idea that others thought they were better than he was. He did everything in his power to humble, embarrass and humiliate his family – often using others to do his “dirty work”.

My mom stayed with that man for as long as she thought it best for her family, but she had the strength to leave him when it became apparent that he was a danger to everyone around him. Even though she was a victim of abuse, Mom was careful to protect her kids (my younger siblings by this time – I was in college), often by taking the brunt of dad’s anger herself. And through the very messy divorce that followed, my Mom was always careful to follow her convictions – she wouldn’t even change the legal separation into a divorce until her pastor said she would not be breaking the Biblical standards for divorce and advised her to do so.

At this point my Mom is happy. She is loved by her children, and a good man. When I go “home” to visit, I don’t feel fear as I walk in the door. And I hope that life only ever keeps getting better for her.

While my dad may have abused me as a child, I want to focus on the tremendous love my Mom had for me. When I cuddle my son, I know that my Mom cuddled me the same way. When I sing my baby awake, I sing the same songs my Mom sang to me. And someday I hope to make my little boy freshly baked whole wheat bread with homemade applesauce, and I hope he remembers just how much I love him.

Thank you Mom.

One Comment leave one →
  1. holly permalink
    January 28, 2007 3:24 pm

    heather, your mama sounds like a very loving and caring mother. it’s obvious that you value and treasure her. still, it’s always a little disconcerting to open your mouth and hear your mama’s voice! I don’t mind it near as much as I used to, I guess it’s age and ever-increasing respect for my the way, isn’t it awesome to watch gabe concentrate on your voice and feel your love? I miss that, with mine all being just a little too big to curl up in my lap.

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