Saturday, May 8, 2010

M-O-T-H-E-R . . . . . nah . . . . . M-O-M

Does anyone remember that old song where the singer describes his mother by saying something that starts with each letter in the word mother? You know, M is for the many . . . . . . . The past week I have been trying to rewrite that song for my mom for Mothers' Day and I am doing a lousy job. It's not because I can't think of wonderful things to say about my mother. The problem is I can't think of clever words to match the letters of the word, mother, that go with the memories. My other major problem is I hate the word, mother, and I am sure it is because of all the, "Muther F this" and Muther that" I have heard. Over the years the word, mother, has been bastardized.

So I decided to use the word mom instead of mother, and I still can't think of clever words that go with the letters of the word, mom. But tomorrow is Mothers' Day and I have been thinking about writing this for some time. Even though I haven't said anything to anyone about writing this, I am one of those weird people that once I make a commitment to do something (even if I only made it to myself in my head) I have to follow through.

M is for the aMazing (see, I told you so) things she has done.

My mom raised with the help of my father four great kids. I know, there are moms that have raised so many more children, but I am not here to have a "My Mom is Better Than Your Mom" contest. Two of the four children she raised were handicapped. I am talking about raising handicapped children in the sixties when handicapped children were put in homes. I don't remember ever thinking I couldn't do something because I was handicapped. My brother, Brad, and I did what every other kid did. We went camping, rode motorcycles, went to summer camp, climbed mountains, and attended public school way before public law 94-142 (this law stated: all handicapped children had a right to a free and public education). My mom was the "You can do it!" cheerleader, and my dad was the engineer that modified everything so we could do it. I wouldn't be finishing up my thirty-first year of teaching school, if it wasn't for my mom who drove me to and from junior college every day. (Or my father who figured out a way for me to drive, so I could attend ASU.)

Besides my brother, Brad, and I my mom had two other children. My "sistahs", Caren and Chris. Two wonderful, loving women that have no comparison. I love getting together with my sisters. Chris is the kind, calm, loving one. Caren is the f-u-n one, and me, the NOT F-U-N one. Here is a conversation we might have:

Caren comes into the room wearing her country dancing "uniform" (see my story about Wrangler butts) and shouts "Hey, lets go meet up with some friends and go dancing!"

Chris replies in her Texas accent, "Anything y'all want to do is okay with me as long as I am with my 'sistahs'!"

I chime in, "Okay, I will go, but please don't dance on the tables this time!"

"Stop, being a pissypants! Are you going or not?" Caren chides.

Chris drawls, "Now, now, don't call your sistah a pissypants."

"It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye!" I mumble as I follow them to the car. I don't know how my mom did it, but she managed to raise three girls with completely different personalities. We were raised to be individuals and whoever we were was okay with our mom as long as we were good, honest people.

Like many others. I have fond memories of my mom in the kitchen. She made dinner every night. We never had fast food, and very seldom ate out at a restaurant. My mom was and still is a great cook. She is the queen of comfort food. My dad was a meat and potatoes man and he hated it when my mom "experimented". When Caren and I go to have dinner at mom's she always makes those meals that we loved as a child.

O is for the Other children she raised.

Our house was that house in the neighborhood where all the kids hung out. Not the drug house. Not the party house. Not the f-u-n house. It was the mom house. Our parents welcomed everyone and my mom fed everybody. My friend, Cheryl, called my parents other-mother and other-father. Brad had a friend whose family moved and he wanted to finish school in Phoenix, so he lived with us. When I became a teacher I was still living at home and I taught in the neighborhood where I lived, so many of my students would visit. My mom would feed them, of course. When I moved into my own place many of my ex students would continue to stop by my mom's house for a hug and a free meal.

M is for the Many times we laughed.

I have many memories of silly laughter with my mom. You know, those laugh until you pee moments. One time Caren made my mom mad, and I don't even remember what she did. I can only remember seeing my mom chasing Caren down the hallway with a cast iron frying pan. Of course we all followed Caren and my mom down the hallway because we just couldn't believe that she would arm herself with a frying pan let alone use it. When I turned the corner to the bedrooms they were both sitting on the floor laughing and shouting, "Stop, I am gonna pee!"

Those words were our mantra growing up. I can't tell you how many times I heard the words, "Stop, I am gonna pee!"

We were not a swearing family. I remember getting slapped by my mom for saying "frigging" and when I complained that I didn't say the actual F word she replied, "Yea, but you were thinking it!" One day after spending time at the mall hearing kids drop the f bomb right and left my mom came home appalled. She just couldn't understand why anyone would use that word and why there was such a love for it. So we decided to spend the day dropping the F bomb.

"What the F are you doing?'

"I am watching my F ing soaps."

"Can you believe what that F just said?"

"Do you want anything F ing special for dinner?"

"Please, stop before I pee my F ing pants!"

I never laughed so hard in all my life. There was a woman that wouldn't say shit, if she had a mouthful dropping the F bomb all day long. At the end of the day she said, "That was kind of fun, but now we are done and I better not here you say that again!"

I love my mom. I respect my mom. I admire my mom. I remember when I bought my own townhouse and moved out. I had been living there for a few months and I got sick. It was no big deal just flu or something. I remember sitting alone in the bathroom with my head leaning against the wall crying, "I want my mom!" As I look back on that moment I think that was kind of silly, but I also think it shows what a great mom she is because I will always want her in a time of need.

Happy Mothers' Day, Mom!

Paco's Perspective

I like that Mom lady! She loves to hold me in her lap and give me loving!

The Flip Side

Does she have treats?

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