Entry 28: More Than a Mom
Today is my mother's birthday, and her age is to be forever a mystery (according to the never reveal a woman's age law). She is my teacher, role model, and friend.
One of my earliest memories was when I was three years old in Ft. Lewis, Washington. It was my birthday, I think, because my mom was giving me presents. Instead of wrapping them like normal presents, she hid one present in each room of the house. Because I was a little kid, she hid them in obvious places (like under a towel on the coffee table). But the most memorable gift was under her blankets in her bedroom. I remember turning the corner into her room and seeing a perfectly-made bed, with the exception of a peculiar lump under the sheets. I soon unveiled one of my favorite childhood toys that I loved so much: a silver Batmobile that could seat an action-figure.
Fast-forward several years and we were now stationed in Germany. My mom at the time had established a career in childcare in her home with the Family Child Care program in the military. One Christmas season I was playing with the other kids, with Batman toys no doubt, when all of a sudden we heard a doorbell around lunchtime. Normally parents pick up their children in the afternoon, so a visitor at this time was odd. We all gathered around the door and my mom opened the door to reveal a brown paper bag sitting alone in front of the door. She looked inside and showed us that it was filled with toys, and it was possible that elves left them for us as an early Christmas present. I looked down the apartment hallway and saw no one, so I instantly believed her. In hindsight, I realized she rang the doorbell herself while we were playing in the playroom.
My mother is a creative person, and she enjoys creating new activities for her childcare kids. One of the coolest things she does is making homemade play-dough, which she let us choose the colors of dyes to mix in.
During my adolescent years, my mom began to take me to church. As I matured from the teachings from biblical stories, so too did my responsibility as the eldest of three children. Somewhere in those teachings, I learned a sense of authoritative knowledge when speaking to younger children.
When my youngest brother was a toddler, I taught him to talk instead of cry when he was upset or hurt. My mom, being the mother she is, would always be a shoulder for him to cry on, but I always tried to discourage this habit. If he ran head-first into a table corner and started to bleed and cry, I would calmly ask, "what happened?" If he tried to speak while crying, I told him that I couldn't understand him if he cried. Because he looked up to me as an elder and a taller person, he listened and stopped crying so he could tell me how reckless he was. I then would explain why running in the house was not a good idea, and from that day on he learned his lesson.
Because my mom tries to live her life according to the teachings of the bible, I am often quick to point out her mistakes when she faults or forgets a rule. The only reason I jest at her is because she taught me to live a righteous life, so it is natural for me to reenforce my own teachings back to her.
I also like to jest her because it's fun. She is a tolerable woman considering the amount of wise-cracking remarks I make with her, but for the most part they are in good humor. Since my mom is self-conscience at times, especially about her age, I like to poke fun at that as well. Whenever my mom would need help in pulling a few strands of grey hair from her head, I would always joke and say, "wow, I found a silver forest!" She never took kindly to those jokes, but we still had fun.
My mother also taught me one of the most important things in my life: love languages. She read this book about personality types and the relationship of communicating love with others. Some people need Words of Affirmation, like my dad, which are people who enjoy "thank you's" and other appreciative words. Some people need Acts of Service, like my mom, which are people who love when others "go the extra mile" and offer a helping hand. Some people need Physical Touch, like myself, which are people who love hugs and holding hands. Knowing these things, my family learned how to our love for each other in a whole new way.
Sometimes physical presence is my love language, which is why I struggle with communication over the phone. There have been times around midnight when I was relaxing in my room and my mother stopped by before she went to bed. At first we exchanged a little chat, but more often than not we would have conversations about anything that lasted one or two hours. These are some of my most treasured pastimes of my life.
Today my mother has another year under her belt, a year that is spent sharing wisdom, kindness, and love. I thank her for putting up with my irresponsibility and wise-cracks by teaching respect and learning to laugh at life. She is my teacher, role model, and friend, and I love her for that.