Saturday, May 7, 2011
You know, when you're little Mom is like God, maybe even better. She heals owies with a kiss, she has all the answers, she comes when you throw up in the night (though she'll tell you that next time you'd better do it in the toilet, not on the floor), and she makes food almost magically appear at all the right times. Then you grow up and you learn that there are some hurts Mom can't heal, that there are other answers out there different than Mom's, and she asks you help get food on the table. You learn more about God too, and suddenly Mom's not quite so perfect.
Now I'm a mommy myself. I have little ones who expect perfection from me. I kiss their owies, I clean up their messes, and I'm not allowed to give "I don't know" for an answer. When they're hungry, they expect to see some food show up. And now I see my own mommy in a whole new light. She doesn't clean up after me anymore, but I highly value her help after I have a baby. She can't make my owies go away, but she sure knows just how to make me feel better! I don't expect her to have all the answers, but she's still the first person I ask. Instead of perfection, I see a woman—a lot like me—who is endeavoring to serve God and her family with each day of her life.
Mom is usually somewhere near the kitchen. She's been cooking and baking and canning as long as she's been able but she is always on a quest for something better. Whether it's a new pan, different potholders, a cookbook, a method, an ingredient, whatever she has most recently discovered is the best yet.
She loves to spread a table with good food (in white dishes) and then surround it with people she loves.
My mom is a woman of action who speaks her mind. When she puts her mind to it, she can accomplish anything from cleaning the windows to buying a house. When she was pregnant with me, she canned a pantry full of peaches (hand-picked by her). She has served rehearsal dinners to 75 people or more and cooked food for my best friend's wedding reception. Her doors are always open and she can always manage to fit one more at the table. If she has an opinion you can bet she'll tell you (even if she keeps it to herself, you'll still be able to read it plain as plain on her face). But she only tells you what she's thinking out of compassion for you. Her capacity to love is as great as her ability to get things done.
Twenty-five years later and her smile is still just as bright. Mom's hospitality, her drive, her enthusiasm, and her love inspire me to live fully, care more and give more freely. Thanks for everything, Mom.