I suspected Mama Kat would have some good prompts for the Writer’s Workshop leading up to Mother’s Day weekend, and she didn’t let me down! I selected “memories of mom” because I have so many wonderful memories from my childhood and I’m still making more memories of my mom every day, because with her you just never know what to expect!
My very earliest memory is of lying on a quilt out in a field near a bonfire and seeing the reflection of some cattle in the fire while I listening to my mom talking next to me. I remember feeling very safe. I don’t have any idea how old I was, but certainly less than three. I’m not sure which of my next two memories came first, being sick with the flu in a house with lots of doors and mom feeling my head and furrowing her brow because my fever was so high, or sitting next to her at a picnic table under a huge tree while she hemmed some shorts. Tiny little snippets, but moments I remember Mom paying close attention to me. I never remember her not listening or being distracted when I was trying to get her attention. By my recollection, she always listened to what I had to say, and according to reports from various family members I ALWAYS had A LOT to say. Evidently I started talking early and just never shut up, but Mom never seemed to mind. She thought I was a brilliant child and told me so often. In fact, she told me I was so smart and so pretty that I simply grew up thinking it was fact. I was a little surprised in my late teens to realize that PERHAPS I wasn’t the smartest and prettiest girl out there. Mom had been pretty convincing!
There were so many things Mom did for me that I didn’t fully appreciate until much later. Mom worked full-time throughout most of my childhood, and not many of my friends’ mothers worked. Then when she came home she not only had all the mom responsibilities, she was also a farmer’s wife, so there would be tobacco to set, tomatoes to can, even lambs to feed for a while there. She had a work ethic and multi-tasking abilities any corporate executive today would kill for.
In the summer she’d take me to the library every two weeks and I’d check out as many books as I could carry. And no matter how tight money got she always bought me books on a regular basis. I had my own little library of books I could read over and over and over – and I did! She loved to read, too, and on rainy Saturday afternoons we’d curl up with a book on opposite ends of the sofa and share an afghan between us. She’d turn a trip to the grocery into a treat with a stop at Burger Queen for onion rings (they had the best ones!) and she’d let me play her Elvis , Loretta Lynn, and Johnny Cash albums as many times as I wanted.
She and my dad divorced when I was twelve, and she raised me and my brother alone. Then she met Greg, and at my wedding she caught the bouquet and Greg caught the garter – they married one month later. They are a perfect match, listening to the same music (country), watching the same movies (Chuck Norris), and travelling to Las Vegas every year for the Professional Bull Riding Championships. Together they’ve built their dream home and survived Mom’s terrifying battle with breast cancer. They spoil my boys rotten, and it comforts me greatly to know that when Aaron goes off to college in the Fall he will only be 50 minutes from Mom and Greg (we timed it).
Mom set the bar high, and I know I’m not always as attentive to my boys as she was to me, and my house NEVER looks as clean as she always kept ours, but I’m pretty good with the afghan and book thing, and both boys have listened to my old Bee Gees albums!