Friday, May 08, 2009

Moms

Mothers: You love them, you can't stand them. You adore them, you step all over them. They gave you life, you wish they'd butt out of your life. I think we've all experienced this range in our own lives. As a teen I was on the far end of the spectrum: using and abusing my mother. Now that I know first hand what being a mother is all about I admire her and appreciate her beyond words.

When I was young my mom often wondered aloud what she should do with me and my siblings. I overheard her asking friends and the pediatrician for advice. I watched her reading books and watching shows about parenting. She was always trying to be a better mom. She wanted to instill in her children self-esteem, independence and faith. She wanted us to be creative and nurture our talents. She wanted us to be hard-workers. I am grateful for her hard work and diligence in shaping us kids in the way we should grow.

I am even more grateful for the things she didn't work on at all, the things I learned just by watching her. I watched her every day: how she acted when she was upset or tired, how she treated people in public and in private, what she did in her spare time (what spare time?), the way she talked about my father, us and other people. I watched the friends she chose. I paid attention to the books she read, shows she watched and entertainment she chose. Very little escaped me. I could tell what was important and what was not just by looking in my mothers face.

I learned from her that it is often necessary and to your advantage to put on a good face and not show that you are upset, frustrated, scared, tired or disappointed. Everyone doesn't need to, and certainly doesn't want to know your deepest, darkest troubles. Staying calm in the midst of a sea of roiling frustration is difficult, putting a smile on over disappointment can be painful but sometimes these things are necessary. Your kids need you, your husband needs you, you need you to be in control of your emotions and not let your emotions be in control of you. My mom was really good at modeling this trait and I try to do the same for my children. I often ask myself "What would a good mom, MY MOM, do in this situation?"

I also learned from her that you are who your friends are. Good friends make you a better person. My moms friends were always smart, talented and spiritual people. Women who loved the Gospel and were excellent examples of what I knew my mom wanted to be. Some were always giving service. Others were scriptorians. Still others were artistically and musically gifted. They didn't waste time on unseemly entertainment or gossip. Her friends were people she wanted to be like and so, naturally, they were people I wanted to be like too. I wanted to be brave and fearless like Kelli, always smiling and generous like Debbie, creative and full of love like Jennifer, bold and smart like JoLynn and sweet and thoughtful like Becki. I still choose my best friends the same way, they are people I want to be like.

I love my mom. I adore her and am so grateful to have her in my life. I think my mom did a pretty good job--her hard-work paid off. She taught me well, she was a good example for me and I can only hope that my kids turn out as good as I did :)

Thank you mom,
Happy Mothers Day

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