Because I'm now an independent woman, and no longer live with my mother (a blessing to both of us) I now realize how lucky I am to have been born to the mother I was. I hope to preempt all the "Mother Tribute" blog posts that I know are forthcoming to the world of blogdom (especially since her birthday is also this weekend)...so I present...
*While I was still in close enough proximity for them to rub off on me
- My mom has more patience in her little toe than I have in my whole body. No matter of proximity could infuse this virtue in me. Even when I was being a little s*** (which was most of the time), my mom handled the situation so well. When I "grew up" and moved back into my parents' house, and I knew just which buttons to push, she still acted with so much presence of mind when I all but pushed her over the edge.
- My mom has learned how to mother me through years of hands-on experience. There was a time when I really thought that God gave me a mother who had no idea how to deal with me. Then I realized that we are all blessed with our own challenges - and I was one of my mom's (and for that reason, I wouldn't have changed a thing about my "nurturing years").
- My mom is crafty from head to toe. While I have a lot of "projects," I could never piece a quilt, knit a baby sweater, sew a prom dress, or reupholster a chair. She patiently offers guidance to me as I clumsily muddle my way through a sheath dress (which, by the way, I get loads of compliments on) or a duvet cover, and gushes compliments once I finally finish, surely with hopes that next project, I will have more confidence to work alone.
- My mom can kick my butt in NERTS. She has tried to impart her mad skillzzz with this game, and I was quick to learn, but either she greases her fingers and rigs her deck (which is impossible since we shuffle and deal for each other), or she really is just that MAD talented (and she harnesses that talent without the use of profanity, a skill I have yet to master)!
- My mom has a garden that yields viable produce! Broccoli from the garden is one of my favorite "treats." There are times when I go home on a Saturday, and find my mom in the garden, weeding her little heart out. She is a green thumb extraordinaire.
- My mom knows the value of hard work. Fortunately, this one did rub off on me a little (and all my siblings). One thing that McAllisters can be counted on for is a stellar work ethic. For this I am incredibly thankful (and so are my employers). Growing up I would witness my parents working side by side, a characteristic I want in my own marriage someday. Some of the projects I remember specifically are: the sprinkler system, the backyard fence, tiling the kitchen and front entry, laying the railroad ties for the garden, and finishing the basement.
- My mom knows that kids will be kids, and sometimes fighting is a necessary part of growing up. There was a time I distinctly remember when Paul and I were fighting, rather violently for pre-teens, and mom told us to go outside. I recall thinking, "Paul could really beat me up if he wanted to...and if we go outside, no one will be there to stop him." We went out on the front porch, threw a few punches, and realized that it was comical that we were sent to the porch to finish the fight. The encounter ended in laughter. Oh how wise she was...
- My mom knows how to have fun. Fortunately, again, I did learn this as well. I can always count on a good laugh when I go home, especially when we make Ethan sing the mockingbird song. Ask my mom about it...she'll probably burst into hysterics just thinking about it.
- My mom loves my dad. I haven't had the chance to exhibit this trait, as I'm still single, but I hope that because of my parents' relationship, I will also be in love with my husband nearly 30 years into marriage. There were a handful of times, as a child, when I would think, "I hope my parents don't get divorced." Living outside Utah, where I was the only LDS child in my school, I had a lot of friends with divorced parents. I couldn't imagine anything worse. Luckily that's never been an option for my parents, and I've had a fantastic example of what marriage is all about.
- My mom has her eyes so sharply fixed on eternity and is willing to sacrifice anything to get there. I have always been fairly "religiously-challenged." Or perhaps you could say I don't always have the faith necessary to do all the things asked by our church leaders. My mom, however, has always had the laser focus and the desire to "be good." This example has stuck with me through my "grown up" years, and I have grown to love that about my mom.