Friday, May 27, 2011
Setting the Tone
Growing up, my Mom and I always had a very open and honest relationship. I always trusted my Mom and shared a lot more with her than most children probably share with their mothers. But she was always a great listener and she gave wonderful advice. As her fifth child, she probably had experienced enough with parenting with my four older siblings to make raising me something she could do in her sleep. She'd become a Mom at age 24 and had me when she was nearly 41. I always appreciated that she'd call me a "happy afterthought" instead of an "oops" baby.
My Mom was always a lot of fun too. She took time to make everything special. She was an excellent cook, a most creative woman when it came to decorating or costume-making, and the best partner when it came time to help me plan birthday parties. She took time to play with me, knowing that I did not have any siblings close to my own age and to this day I still have fond memories of her on the floor with me playing with Barbies or Fisher-Price Little People. As I got older we'd go shopping for clothes which was a ball as we both loved fashion, and she'd always tell me how my "cute little figure" looked adorable in that dress so we'd buy it and giggle about how we ought to just buy the other one too because there was sure to be another occasion where I'd need it.
My Mom's sense of humor, her protectiveness, her dedication as she sat in the audience of every single performance I was in (even when, as an adult, I'd perform in community theater productions), and her standing offer that I could always "blame it on her" when I needed an excuse not to go out somewhere or not to participate in something that would tough to explain, gave me the security and the confidence I needed as I grew up.
Yes, selflessness, honesty, patience, playfulness, humor, and tender-loving-care. These are the greatest gifts a Mom can provide to her children. My Mom truly did set the tone in my childhood growing up, giving me stability and endless opportunities for happiness, but what I don't think she may realize is how she helped me set the tone in my own home with my own children. So on that note, I'm going to go call my Mom. In my family's tradition, I'll gather my three children around the phone and when she picks up the phone, we'll start singing her "Happy Birthday". And then I'll get to hear her laugh and all will be right with the world...again.
Happy Birthday Mom. I love you.