Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy 46 to My Parents

Commentary to Follow Soon!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Tribute to Mom

Happy Mother's Day! 

I want to tell you all about my mother and how absolutely fabulous she is. Indulge me.

The last time I was at Mom and Dad's house, I took a bunch of pictures.  Here are some of the ones of Mom. (I also have black and white files of all these images, so if anyone wants them, just shoot me an email.)

I like this picture because it shows her vulnerable side.  I was fully 19 years old before I comprehended that my mom was a real person, with difficulties, weaknesses, hopes, and dreams.  I had always thought of her as this invincible person, always optimistic, always happy to serve. SUPERMOM!  This picture reminds me that she was once a little girl.  And I'll tell you one thing I know about her as a little girl--even then she knew she wanted to be a mother someday. 

My mom is intelligent.  As a elementary student, her IQ was tested along with everyone else in her grade. It was high.  Really high.  In fact, it was the highest score that had ever been given at that school.  The administrators went to her parents and told her that they thought she should try taking college classes.  They wanted to put her on the fast track to become a famous scientist or something.  My grandparents gave her the choice--did she want to go straight to college, or did she want to continue on through all the grades with the kids her age?  My grandmother told her that maybe she would grow up to be a scientist and never have kids, but instead have a really amazing career.  That made her mind up...she wanted no part of it.  She had already decided that she wanted to get married and have kids.  That was her career choice.  And she put her heart and soul and all her intelligence into it.  She eventually ended up with a BA in comparative literature.  She filled our house with books, and she filled the conversation of the home with deep insights and analytical discussion.

I like this picture of my mom because she looks like such a Richardson--like such a Lee.  The pioneer heritage that she has always been so proud of is printed all over her face.  She comes from hardy stock, the kind of people who settled the west and were the backbone of the early church.

Now that she has raised her 7 children, my mom is still in the business of giving love.  She embraces people who are struggling in the community.  She works in the temple.  And most of all, she flies around loving her grandchildren and visiting her kids. 

I still remember how it felt to become a mother for the first time.  I was so overwhelmed.  I had no idea what was going on with my body (whose body is this?), and I had no idea how to care for a newborn (he's going to die! He feels like he is falling apart!  Why is his poop black?  Is he bleeding internally?!?) She swooped in like the cavalry.  And suddenly everything was managable.  Everything was okay.  Nursing is going to work, just give it time to regulate (my body made the mistake of thinking I had quintuplets and produced WAY too much milk.  And lemme tell you, nothing seems right when you feel like your chest is about to explode.  TMI, sorry.)  I've heard some of my friends lament that when their mothers come (even right after having a baby), they criticize their housekeeping, their cooking, their parenting, etc.  This shocks me.  After I have a baby, she comes, she cooks, she cleans, she buys groceries and fills my freezer with future meals, she plays with the older kids, she buys little things for the baby.  She even gets up in the night with the baby sometimes, to let me sleep as much as possible.  One time she even turned all the green tomatoes in my garden into like 50 quarts of raspberry jam, despite my numerous protestations.  Hahaha.  Mother. 

You see how happy my mom is in this picture?  It's because of the dog.  She is loving the dog, and that makes her happy.  You should see how happy she is when she is holding one of her little grandkids.  Seth and Kristina used to live close to mom and dad.  Kristina told me that they used to drop off their baby, Simeon, so they could go on a date.  When they left, my mom would be cooing at him and holding him in a rocking chair.  When they came back, there she would be, in the same chair, doing the same thing.  She had never got up.  And she'd be like, already?  That wasn't long enough--go get some ice cream or something.  That's the thing about my mother, she was never a reluctant mother, never a martyr.  She honestly loved mothering, and couldn't think of anything more wonderful than living her daily life with her kids.  What a gift to be raised by someone like that! 

One more thing: my mom is lovable, and so very very friendly.  My whole life, anywhere I have gone with my mom, she has been making friends,  She chats up the grocery store clerk, she catches up with the lady by the dairy case, she laughs with the lady at the pharmacy.  She's the friendliest person I've ever met!  She has visited me enough times and gone to church with me, that the ladies in my ward all want to know what she's up to, and when she will be visiting again.  NO JOKE, people in my ward call me to ask for her phone number...cause, you know, sometimes you need to talk to someone who cares.  And she does.

 I love you, mom, forever and ever and always! You are as fine a person as I have ever had the pleasure of hanging around.  And you are my hero in every way.