Wednesday, December 30, 2009

a post of her own

I haven't talked about her much. I try to respect her privacy. But it's her birthday today, and I think you need to hear about my mom.

She's the kind of mother who baked her own bread (and still does). The kind of mother who also makes her own jams and jellies, who doesn't know the meaning of a store-bought pie, who fills the freezer with homemade cinnamon rolls and cookies and does it all in a spotless kitchen.

She's the kind of mother who didn't blink when her house was full-to-the brim with children (hers, the neighbor's, the cousins) - the noise and the chaos spilling out onto the porch, the front lawn, the back patio. She's the kind of mother who didn't mind when Stacie and I played Barbie-has-a-multi-level-highrise on the stairs. She's the kind of mother who never said no when I asked if Stacie could spent the night again... and again... and again. The kind of mother who let us slide down the stairs in our sleeping bags, who let us build forts in the living room, who let us play school in the dining room, who let us sleep in the backyard, who let us be kids.

She's the kind of mother who taught me about being nice, about treating people the way I wanted to be treated. She's the kind of mother who taught me about consequences. The kind of mother who didn't want to see me fail, but would let me learn that every action has a consequence and sometimes those consequences weren't so pleasant.

She's the kind of mother who cheered me on and wanted me to succeed, who invested in the things I cared about (summer art classes, dance classes, gymnastics, summer debate camp). The kind of mother who wanted me to be happy.

She's the kind of mother who came to my rescue. The kind of mother who didn't think twice about calling other mothers. The kind of mother who was involved, who cared, who listened. The kind of mother who, when there was nothing else she could do, would sit on my bed and cry with me.

She's the kind of mother who modeled the behavior she expected of me. The kind of mother who helped, who served, who volunteered. The kind of mother who is always working for the greater good.

In the short time that I've been a mother, I've learned that it's not easy. You try to be and do what's best for your baby but when you close that bedroom door at night you're drained and exhausted from the sheer effort of breathing in and out. Effort that only occasionally yields the results you want. When I sleep, I dream of being the mother that Bean needs. And I dream about my mother. Because she did it right.

And I'm so grateful that she did.

Happy birthday, mom.


Swistle said...

Oh, man. That sounds GREAT! And REALLY hard to live up to.

M said...

Aw. Happy Birthday, Whimsy's Mama.

I didn't know you had taken dance classes...

Amy said...

So sweet. Lucky you and lucky Bean because you will do your best to live up to that standard. Happy birthday!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Mom of Whimsy!

Kathy H. said...

Her Chocolate Krinkles are still my favorite cookie.

stephanie said...

I've never commented before, but this post. GAH. Am crying. I love your mom and I don't even know EITHER of you.

I am printing this out. Because when my bean is a new mom, as I am now, I hope when she thinks of me, she thinks even half these things. (Minus the spotless kitchen because, man, I just can't!)

Happy birthday to your mom. And thanks for such a beautiful post.

clueless but hopeful mama said...


What a beautiful testament to your mom. I hope that one day, if you and I are both lucky, our girls can write such lovely TEAR-INDUCING things about both of us.

stacie d said...

I am so lucky that your Mom was my 2nd Mom growing up! And I don't just mean lucky because I got to eat the homemade bread, cookies, cakes, etc!! She is an absolutely amazing woman & mother, just like you!!

Alicia @ bethsix said...

Your mom sounds great, just like Bean's. :)

Also? And this is going to sound stalkerish, but I swear I only just happened upon this information because you mentioned Stacie... so I went to her blog and saw the "Stacie D" star thing... and I think she and I have the same birthday! Woot! Although she is one year older. Woot again!

I guess it's not really that great a story. But you know how you get excited when you meet (or, in this case, *hear about*) people with your birthday?

Maybe it's just me.

statia said...

Awww. This is so sweet. You're a good daughter.

kately said...

Your mom should print that out and post it on her 'fridge ;-) Beautiful!