Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Mommala

Aren't my parents the cutest parents ever?
Lists. I like lists. Lists are good. Today's list is dedicated to my Mom. Because that's what you do on mother's day, right?

A couple months ago my mother in law called and asked, "What legacy have you received from your mother?" She was asking in preparation for a talk that she had to give. Being the dutiful daughter in law that I am, I told her I'd think about it.

And then I never called her back.

But I did think about it. So here are a few of the things I've "received" from my mom:

1) The ability to talk to anyone. I was desperately shy as a little girl. So, the fact that my mother could immediately be friendly with everyone in the whole world was a complete mystery to me. Over the years it grew to be less so, and I think I'm pretty much on par with her now in that area.

2) Taking in strays. I don't actually do this they way my Mom did. My Mom collects strays. Stray animals. Stray children. Stray adults. Stray truck drivers... (now that's a great story!) It's kind of amazing. I'm still working on that one. I do invite people to live with us with alarming regularity, though. Hm. Maybe it has sunk in more than I thought.

3) The idea that what I'm capable of is very much up to me. When I was 14 or so, my mother decided to become a lifeguard. She was somewhere in her 40s, and not particularly athletic, but realized that there were never enough people to lifeguard at girl's camp. So, she spent one winter taking the certification classes with a bunch of twiggy 16 year old kids. Afterwards, she life guarded at girl's camp, but also taught a water exercise class for people with severe arthritis. All while dealing with busy church callings, my Dad's business travel and the schedules of four children.

4) Being adventurous. Whether it was trying new cuisine, new exercise, new hobby, new craft, new whatever, my Mother is nothing if not adventurous. And she is gung ho about each new thing. No doing things halfway for her!

5) A thirst for knowledge and willingness to learn. Even though my mom didn't particularly enjoy high school and never attended college, she has always been excited to learn about whatever she thinks she needs to learn about. She probably could have gotten several degrees over with all the research, field work, and experiments she's done over the years.

6) The ability to know when to change the subject. Just recently I had to call to share some rotten news with my Mom. I'd been putting it off, because I didn't want to dissolve into a puddle of tears. I delivered the news over the phone and my Mom said, "Oh, honey. That's really hard. With great blessings come great challenges. Now. Let me tell you about the wonderful class I went to this morning." I was delighted to hear about it. When I need a pity party, I know that I can call and she will let me have one, but I thoroughly appreciated that there was no doom and gloom, and we could talk about something else while she processed the information. In short, it was exactly what I needed. I'm glad to have a Mom who even after all the years we haven't lived together, still intuitively knows what I need.

7) Parenting with the spirit. My mother recognized that keeping close to Heavenly Father and listening for the promptings of the spirit were far more effective parenting methods than anything she could read. (Though she read all the books anyway. They couldn't hurt, right?)
I'm still working on this one. I'm not very good at remembering that I'm not in charge all the time. It's kind of a problem for me. But I'm learning.

8) Also, I am getting my hot little hands on the rug currently kept in her library when she dies. I've been asking for it for almost 11 years now. She assures me that I will only get it over her cold, dead body. And when I asked again recently, she told me she was being buried in it. A more physical legacy, but a legacy nonetheless. Mom! The rug will be mine!!


Mom said...

A mother often wonders what her children are gleaning from her life.
Thank You Emilia for sharing your insights.
I love you. Mom

Emilia said...

Big slobbery hugs and kisses for you, too, Mom!

Jenn said...

I love both of you! You have such an amazing relationship - and I think your mom is awesome too! She was always there for me when I needed her to be as a child - and I sooooooo appreciate that! Happy Mother's Day to you both - I hope you had an enjoyable relaxing day!