An Ode to Me Mudder

Thinking about Mudder’s Day has me contemplating what it takes to be a ma. Surely there is more to it than the act of giving birth (a process that we’re not going to think about because it gives me the royal heebie-jeebies. Good at ya women who have decided to go through with that. I’m biding my time until The Fiance can do the birthing.).

So, what better way to discuss the ma-ness of my own mudder than to make a list?

50 Things That I love About My Mudder

1. She decided that I was worth the work and kept me around.

2. She calls me “Lil Girl” and probably will until the end of time.

3. She’s self-sacrificing. (Except when it comes to mice. Once, while we were checking out the backyard, she asked me to pick up an overturned birdbath. The birdbath was one of those that you filled with sand to make a heavy base. Well, as I picked up the base, a mouse scuttled out of the birdbath.  We both bolted. My gallant mother threw an elbow and pushed me out of the way in an effort to get in front of me.)

4. She’s really good at making peculiar hodge-podge meals.  She can take 4 seemingly unconnected food items and turn them into a seamless meal.

5. She has a fused left wrist. I have a fused right wrist.

6. She has a birthmark on the back of her knee. Me too!

7. She has spent a lot of energy trying to make memories for my brudder and me, even to the extent of inducing panic attacks. But then again, when Chuck and I think about the holidays- we always include the Xanax-moments of Ma, as well. Well played, Ma, well played.

8. She really, really, really wants to be organized.

9. She can tell by the tone in my voice what mood I’m in and can often predict the reason for my malcontent.

10.  She has raised The World’s Most Neurotic Dog.  She wasn’t too far off with the neurosis with the other kids either. (Have I ever told you that my various foods cannot touch one another?  Seperate bowls or sufficient space between each object, please.)

11. Ma understands when I say that I feel safer when I’m surrounded by books. In fact, Ma is the one who introduced me to the idea of ‘shopping’ at the library.

12. Ma dropped cigarettes cold turkey on request of my brother, but started up her coffee-love on some innocuous day.

13. Despite being taller than most of her peers, she stands up straight and shows pride in the way she carries herself. She said that that was a gift from her father who always reminded her not to slouch.

14. She’s quite crafty- she can make things pretty with the simplest of materials.

15.  Ma is a natural peacemaker.  Nobody can bicker too long without Ma coming in to solve the problem. In fact, her legendary intro is, “I know it’s not my business but…” (Her epic peacemaking event was when my dad was near his end.  The last five years, my dad and his sister had not spoken. Ma innocently lied to my dad, saying that my aunt apologized.  Dad mimed {life support turned my father into a circus performer in the last stage.} he was sorry too. : Boom:  Everyone was happy.)

16. She has gorgeous frizzy hair ( The Fiance added that one. He may have, once, insulted my ma’s hair.  Naturally, he has the rest of our marriage to live that down.)

17. She understands that my brother and I are severly different people and doesn’t try to make us the same person.

18. We use to dance in the kitchen.  When I go home…we’ll still dance in the kitchen.

19. My ma and I spent a lot of time driving us back and forth when I was in middle & high school.  Suggest a song that was popular in  2000. We can sing it. We knew all the songs.

20. She has the prettiest green eyes and knows how to use makeup to accent them.  I was lucky enough to inherit some of the color.

21. She’s proud of herself when she watches a movie.  Sometimes she goes years between seeing a flick.

22.  She saved my dad’s wedding ring. On the day I graduated from college, she bought a new silver chain. She put the ring on the chain, which I wore as I walked across the stage. She explained that I had a part of each of my parents with me that day.

23. She appreciates my sarcastic humor.

24.  Sometimes I can get her really laughing and then she does this howling-hoot sound.  I always get a sense of pride when that happens.

25. She taught me how to be a good daughter by the way she took care of her own ma.

26. Ma can appreciate the little things in life- such as the trees of Texas or the houses of an old town. She will also announce her appreciation  for things ad nauseum.

27. She never jumps to conclusions. (Such as The Night of the Elephant in which a wooden elephant was put away for Christmas, but did not resurface. She did not become hysterical and assume that the very large wooden object had been thrown out. Oh no, there were no hysterics for my ma.)

28. She has ‘adopted’ my three oldest siblings and truly loves them. She always says with a smile that she would have been their step-ma if the timing had been right.

29. She holds strong to her faith.

30. She named me after my grandfather, which made me feel connected despite him passing away just before I was born. My darling grandma would say, “I have my Andi back”. Again, a perfect connection that I could have, just based on my name.

31. We really want to read Anna Karenina. I’m on page 8. Ma has looked at the cover.

32. She loves kiddos.

33. Ma has a knack for picking out the best, unique presents for me.

34. She can fix a lot of household stuff. Who needs a man? ( “Minus cleaning a vacuum cleaner” The Fiance just interjected. C’mon now- have you ever washed each compartment in your vacuum? The Fiance has an odd obsession with clean vacuums.)

35.  She gives me great advice, even when I don’t exactly want it.

36. She volunteers and feels better when she does.

37.  Ma is close with her sisters, even though they are all very different.  I know she hopes I will learn from her example.

38. She’s proud of her niece and nephews- she’ll tell me pieces and parts about their lives since I’m not there to experience it.

39.  I’m allowed to store my stuff in her house.

40. She helped take care of my dad when he was really sick, even though they were divorced.Despite the divorce, my ma encouraged me to have a relationship with my dad. She always said she knew that a kid needs to have both parents even if the relationship was challenging.

41. We have ‘Coffee Mornings’ when I come home which consists of us sipping coffee and reading books on the couch.  Since we’re away from each other now, we sometimes schedule coffee mornings where we call one another while we drink coffee.

42.  We have spaghetti for our holiday meals because we had spaghetti when my dad came to our house for his last holiday. She wants to hold on to his memory.

43.  Once upon a time, she was afraid that the computer would explode if she touched it. Now she is fairly competent!

44.  She is the end-all-be-all of medical knowledge. Folks call her for medical advice and I know more medical based words because of her.

45. She loves her grandkids Melissa and Mel, despite not really being a biological gram.

46.  She understands my longing for a big extended family. She always does the, “Well, you’re the youngest child of the youngest child of the youngest child,” which explains why most folks in the family are a generation older than me and everyone else is…well…um.. beyond this Earthly realm.

47.  Ma loves The Fiance, the idea we’re getting married, and  The Fiance’s family.  She may bust from her love.

48. We talk for our dogs. We find this normal. Dewey has a voice. Noni has a voice. Thankfully they only talk when Ma and I are together.  The distance between quirky and insanity is a very fine line.

49.  She has taught me to eat healthy and exercise. We use to tease because when Ma was on a diet, we were all on a diet.  Mmm rice cakes.

50. She and I talked on the phone at least three times a day. She’s also adjusted her call-time because of my new life with The Fiance.  She’s ready to adjust to my new life without sacrificing the relationship she and I have.

 

In the end, my list is not because of what my ma did as an actual mother, but because of who she is.  Perhaps it’s not the  parenting techniques one employs, but how real you can be with your kids.  She is truly my best friend, through and through.

Now go hug someone.

(P.S- Did you forget it’s Mother’s Day??  Make your ma a card and include a list of things that you love about her. She’ll love it and it’ll keep you from getting the cold stare….Moms are so good at that look.)

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One Response to An Ode to Me Mudder

  1. Betsy says:

    You forgot to add that she is the best and most loyal friend!

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