My mom and I; Christmas Day, 1969. I’m riding my horse, Patches.
My mom and I; Mother’s Day 2014
What will you do this year to let your mom and/or dad know how much they mean to you? Did you know that Mother’s Day began as a day to spend in church and in writing a letter to your mom, letting her know how much she meant to you? Father’s Day was begun by a woman whose own mother had passed away and who wanted to honor her dad.
When I was growing up, my dad wasn’t around very much. He ultimately left our home when I was nine, and he died ten years later. There were times he was a great dad, but there were lots of times he wasn’t. My mom really had her hands full taking care of us three children, working as a nurse, keeping the house up, and dealing with my dad. I think she did a great job. My brother became an Eagle Scout and is now the CEO for the Boston Boy Scout Council. My sister and I are both teachers. We all have our own families and homes. None of us would have the lives we do if it weren’t for all the sacrifices our mom made for us growing up.
Here are some of my favorite stories about my mom.
When I was about 12, we didn’t have any money for a Christmas tree. My mother, being the resourceful New Englander she is, got a rusty old saw from the cellar, opened our living room window (which was about 15 feet off the ground), sat with one leg dangling out the window, and began sawing off the top of a pine tree that hugged our house. She succeeded in getting us a four-foot Christmas tree and in changing the shape of our two-story pine from a triangle to a trapezoid. She went out to the front lawn where the treetop had fallen, hauled it into the house, set it onto a table to give it some added height, and voila! Problem solved. I didn’t love the tree, nor did I love explaining to my friends why we had such a puny tree or why our outside tree had been amputated, but I did love the way my mom took care of us without asking for help or pity from anyone. She is resilient.
Another time when I was around the same age, we were on a picnic at Castle Island in Boston. It started to rain, and so my mom put a dish towel on her head and began “running” for the car. My mom has not really been a runner since she was about five-years-old. To my junior high way of thinking, she looked crazy, but she was laughing despite the rain, the ruined picnic, and my clear disdain for her dishtowel rain hat. Even at the time, I still loved the way she laughed at the whole situation, which was beyond her control. She was able to look at the big picture of our family together, running in the rain, and overlook the fact that the evening did not go as planned.
My mom has taught me a lot by the way she handles adversity. It is often through adversity that we grow, and guess what? Without rain, that pine tree next to my old house would never have been able to re-grow, so that today it once again stands two-stories high and is a perfect isosceles triangle.
The house I grew up in. The pine tree is around the other side of the house, but you can see how high the first floor windows are off the ground.
What do you need to thank your mom or dad for?
What is the funniest story you can think of that involves your mom or dad?
How does your mom or dad inspire you?