This is a series about “Other Mothers” in my life, in order of appearance. I will write it until I run out of mothers, I guess! Past mothers posts here. If you have other mothers you would like to share with me, send them on. I would be happy to share with whoever reads this blog.
I have a mother. Her name is Michelle. She taught the most painful arm punches of my life and she taught me how to give them. She taught me how to torture siblings (in the best possible meaning of the word “torture”.) She taught work through hard feelings and emotions and forgiveness. She taught that life is too short to be angry for a long period of time, even if the anger is well deserved. She taught love your children and they will respect you or fear you or both. She taught work on your hair, even if it’s thick and frizzy. And wear mascara and perfume, even if you are going to the grocery store. (Still working on that one.) She taught that appearance helps you to feel pretty but pretty isn’t everything. She taught going through difficult times and coming out on top and with a positive attitude. She taught drink Diet Coke in a fancy cup because it’s more fun. She taught listen to good music and listen to it loud. (Ahem, Madonna, Pearl Jam, U2.)
She taught cleaning as you go and organizing and giving everything to charity or to someone in need. She taught patience with frustrating people and acceptance of unchanging people. She taught surprise Krispy Kremes at the airport, detailed cupcakes and late nights working to help with the bills. She taught college when the kids are in school and getting an awesome score (96%!!) l on the nursing school entrance exam. (I bragged about it like she were my child.) She taught a sweet smile and a kind laugh. She taught a care package in college with Campbell’s chicken corn chowder soup, still my favorite. She taught a single mother is enough and that independence is a special quality. She taught laughing so hard, you pee. She taught yelling at kids and then apologizing.
She taught patience with husbands. She taught patience with teenagers. She taught gifting your kids the gift of confidence and trust. She taught that ocean is the cure and lighthouses are to be celebrated. She taught coming back to her roots and swallowing of pride. She taught In N Out burger, frozen yogurt late night runs and never too tired or busy when someone is in need. She taught do everything you can to help other people even if you are exhausted. She taught sending tulips after a miscarriage and Ferrero Rocher chocolates, a surprise on a “Day you needed good chocolate, like ten minutes ago.” She taught calling every day for week or more just to check in. She taught hiking in the mountains, making the effort to show up even when it is hard. She taught silly nicknames for her kids and loving my kids (especially Brooke) like they are her own. She taught family comes first.