Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother May I?

In honor of Mother's Day I'd like to write about my mom.  It's hard to really express everything my mother has meant to me over the years, but in this blog, I'd like to try - a quality I believe I learned from my mother. 

The nursery rhyme spinning today's words is a short and sweet request:

"Mother, may I go out to swim?"
"Yes, my darling daughter.
Fold your clothes up neat and trim,
But don't go near the water."

Cute, yes?  Yes.  Perfectly sums up the protective nature of a the mother.  I can recall many times I asked to do things and while I was told yes, I was also told no; much like the little girl in our nursery rhyme.  Over the course of my life I have been loved, liked, not so well liked, and then loved again - always by my mother.  I can assure you in times where I was not liked, it was completely deserved, but I was still always loved and that is what has stayed with me over time. 

My mother is Cathy Lynn (Crosby) Boring.  She was born in Austin, Texas in 1952.  I'm sure she'll be thrilled to read I've listed her actual birth year, but in my opinion, the life she's lived is valuable and should be celebrated not only on Mother's Day, but every day.  Our house was more than a house, it was a home and that had everything to do with my mother. 

My mother is a strong woman, a compassionate woman, a caring woman, a clever woman.  She has a beautiful smile and an infectious laughter when she gets going.  Growing up, she was the epitome of what a "mom" should be working her to provide for her family, carpooling to endless sporting events, dance classes and karate lessons, and tolerating all night sleep overs that started when I was about 6-years-old.  We did not know the meaning of a quiet evening and that didn't change until well into my adult years.   Patience was the name of the game.   She was the mother others came to when their problems arose, had dinner on the table every night at 5:30, home-cooked not takeout, and made sure our laundry was washed, folded, ironed, and put away.  She forced me to take my vitamins (despite my attempts to hide Flintstones chewables), brush my teeth, eat my veggies, and keep up with my health.  My homework was done, my papers edited (mercilessly!), and my academic ducks were always in a row.   My mother never missed a recital, a solo, a game, an event.  She lived for me and through me and put herself completely aside, a quality that seems to be synonymous with being a good mother.  My mother was the entire world, and looking back, I see it rested on her shoulders in a way I didn't understand until I became a mother myself.

My mother taught me to be a good person, not a perfect person, but a good person.  She taught me to have pride in who I am and how to mend my broken heart when others opinion of me, spurned with hate and jealousy, became more than I could bear.  She taught me how to kill them with kindness and how to forgive, but not forget as she subscribed to the old adage, Hurt me once, shame on you.  Hurt me twice, shame on me.  Truer words were never spoken.   She taught me when to play fair and when to fight for what I believed was right, what battles to pick and what to let go.  She taught me to be a christian and makes decisions with a christian heart, to keep my faith in God when people failed me as she is a woman that has NEVER doubted her salvation; an example I still aspire to be.  She taught me how to truly love unconditionally and how to forgive those you love when she forgave me many times during my tumultuous and turgid teen years.

Now that I share in the joys and burdens of motherhood, I finally understand how she did everything she did and I finally appreciate what I was thankful for before, but did not even begin to fully comprehend until my own son was laid upon my chest.  There is a love from a mother to a child that is indescribable and until I knew that love, I had no way of knowing how much my mother loved me, and how much being a mother is the best, but the hardest job a woman will ever do.

At 34 years old, my mother still hurts when I hurt, smiles when I smile, laughs when I laugh, and feels pride when I do well.  She continues to be a fierce protector of me and I know for a fact there are people I've known in my life and some I know now, that if my mother had her way, she'd bulldoze them down and never look back.  Don't hurt her baby - that is basically her one and only rule when dealing with me.  This has not changed and I found myself saying it just the other day when I told a friend, "don't get on my mother's bad side, there is no return."  They asked, "how do I avoid this?"  And I told them, "it's very simple, don't ever hurt me."  How comforting is this thought that even as a grown woman I know that if I go to my mother and tell her you made me cry, she would tear you down like a mama bear (if darn legalities didn't get in the way).

My mother is the woman, the wife, and the person I hope I can be.  She is amazing in every way, loving in every way, a mother in every way.

Mother, may I say how much
Your love has changed my life?
You're everything I want to be

Amidst life's toils and strife.

Mother, may I say how much
your example means to me?
The saving grace of a loving mom,
a faith that sets me free.

Mother, may I tell you thanks
for everything you've done?
For help and hope, a way to cope
when my own life's just to much.

Mother, may I say I love you
more than words can say?
Given a choice, I'd NEVER change
who I am today.

Mother, may I say your life
has helped me feel this strong?
Has shown me how to love myself
To know where I belong.

Mother, may I say I want
to be the way you are?
To give my child all you gave
and swell within his heart.

Mother, may I say I am
proud to be your child?
Proud to know I'm a part of you
it always makes me smile.

Mother, may I say you are
an amazing mom to me?
The essence of a woman's way
and all I hope to be. 

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