She once described me as "laid back". I'm sure I said something like, "What? I'm not laid back! My family wouldn't describe me as laid back". She said, "Well, compared to me...you're asleep".
And such starts the list of differences between me and my mom...
But we're a lot alike too. As I grow older, I appreciate this fact more and more.
My mom is a hard worker. She likes to be prepared. Yet she tempers her hard work with fun...and she cares that those around her are having fun too.
My moms "NON-LAID BACKNESS" causes her to be attentive to many details that I would simply over look. While shopping for Benjamin's birthday party supplies she says, "You need to get some plastic knives". I say, "Why? We have tons of forks". She says, "You can't spread mayonnaise with a fork. Grown ups like knives and you have a serious shortage". Plastic knives go into the buggy.
Shortly thereafter, she bought us a new set of kitchen knives. Steak knives, chopping knives, paring knives.
We haven't had a new knife since we got married 18 years ago. My father-in-law has tried on many occasions to sharpen the small, dull set we have, to no avail. I always get strange looks when I ask a friend joining us for dinner to help by cutting a tomato with a butter knife. We own 3 butter knives by the way.
Mom looking through my kitchen cabinets, "Shanna, do you own a cereal bowl?" Me, "Sure". My mom thinks I answer 'sure' a lot. I then proceed to hold up a coffee mug. Mom shakes her head no. I hold up a ceramic chili bowl my grandmother painted (roughly 30 years ago). Again, my mother shakes her head. I push to the back of the cabinet and find a Christmas bowl. "What about this one"? Now we are laughing. That afternoon, I had a new set of cereal bowls. Maybe our first set. I'm not sure.
Triple E Width Shoes
Upon seeing the condition of my shoes, she insisted we head straight to the shoe store. She announces loudly as we enter, "We need help!" Sales girl runs over. Mother, "Please measure her foot. Bring every wide shoe you have in her size and try them on her feet"! I got new shoes.
By the end of her visit, besides knives and bowls and shoes, she had bought us new blankets, pillows, a Kurig coffee maker and accessories, squishy bath mats, paid for her own birthday dinner at Red Lobster, lunch at Chick Fil A, pedicures for all the girls (including hot wax, gel polish, and my first ever toe flower/jewel), new cosmetics and left a check on the dining room table.
And I had a revelation. She was taking care of me.
When you are a mother, in my case, a 38 year old mother of 5, you are busy taking care of others...all the time. (And, I do mean all the time.) You don't have chances to think about cereal bowls, knives or sometimes -- the condition of your own shoes. Infact, it's easy to think on occasion "Who takes care of me? Who cooks dinner for me or makes sure MY day is special"? Let's face it, moms are easily taken for granted.
But, my mom was here -- taking care of me...and I deeply appreciated it.
This week, I mailed her a package of fall goodies. A little something to make one of her days feel special too.
There is no great point here. No moral to my story. No wrap up of great revelation for YOU. Just a few paragraphs to honor my mother -- from whom I've learned that it's good to give and to receive. It's good not to take each other for granted. It's good to take care of your family. To say you're sorry...not to quit...to be brave...and that cereal bowls are far superior than mugs at holding Frosted Flakes.
Love you mom!