I am so excited that today is Friday, May 11th! My mom is coming to visit this weekend, which is always wonderful, but it is extra special since it's Mother's Day weekend. We have a weekend full of fun activities planned, things we hope she enjoys.
My mother's visits aren't stressful but very relaxed and fun. Mom doesn't judge the state of my house (I do a quick straightening beforehand, of course), my decoration, my cooking, my relationship with Steve, or anything else. She comes ready to have a good time, and we do our best to help her accomplish this and to make sure she feels at home. Her visits are my favorite because seeing us isn't her secondary purpose - she isn't here to go shopping or see a doctor or any other reason - the main reason she's here is to visit her daughter and son-in-law. It makes me feel special and very loved. (For the record, I love visits from people even if we're not the primary reason for the visit. So, come visit me even if you have another reason for doing so!)
My relationship with my mom has grown a lot as I've matured and become smarter. I appreciate our similarities and differences and am really, really thankful to be able to talk to her about my life without worrying too much about how that's going to affect our relationship. I know that she doesn't always agree with choices I make, but I know without a doubt that she will always love me.
Mom deserves a lot of the credit for me turning out as good as I have (however good that is). She instilled in me a sense of cleanliness and taught me the skills to obtain that state. Growing up, my brothers and I always had chores; we had a chore or two that had to be done after school before we could go out and play with friends AND we spent a good couple hours or so every Saturday cleaning the house. At times, I had wished that she was like my friend's mom who never made her do anything, not even make her own bed! Now, though, I'm so grateful to have learned to appreciate having a clean house and the know-how to clean it well.
Mom was the disciplinarian in our home. When we broke a rule or did something that was unacceptable (more often than not we knew it wasn't a good thing to do), she didn't let it slide. I like that she wasn't obscure or surprising in her discipline. We always knew what was good and what wasn't. We also knew without a doubt that we'd get punished. Mom was consistent and very fair - we all had the same standards and were equally punished when we didn't obey. She taught that there are consequences to our actions - it was our
choice whether or not we did something and so we had to live with the
consequences. It's probably one of the best lessons a person could ever learn. Thank you, Mom!
My mom wasn't all work and no play, though. I have happy memories of playing with her. When I was a teenager, she and I would always be on a team against my dad and older brother when playing Pinochle. We'd cheat horrifically and still lose every time. It was so fun, though! We'd giggle about it and I loved the conspiratorial glint in her eyes when she'd use our prearranged signals. I remember how we'd all get giggling so hard before family prayer, Mom giggling right along with us. It would make my dad so upset that a few times he'd leave the room, which made us laugh harder.
My love of walking comes from my mom. Off and on while I was growing up, she'd take me walking with her in the evenings. She walked pretty fast, so I had to work hard to keep up with her, but it kept me in shape when I was already showing signs of a tendency towards chubbiness. And we would talk. Talk about our day, boys, dreams, plans, everything. I learned to be able to trust my mom during these walks. I've always been able to talk to her.
Faith, hope, belief in a loving Father in Heaven and Savior were taught in our home. We're not the most religious family in the world, but my mom instilled in us these traits. Although I haven't always been as obedient to my beliefs as I could have been, I have never once doubted the things she taught me. The foundation she laid for me is priceless. I know people who didn't have that and they miss it, whether they know it or not. Having experienced the death of loved ones, how blessed am I to know that I will see them someday! How blessed am I to know that I can be forgiven of my sins by a Father who loves me and wants me to be happy! Thank you, Mom, for giving me these and so many other lights of knowledge and hope.
Mom, I definitely don't tell you often enough how much I love you and how much I appreciate being your daughter. This blog doesn't even begin to express my feelings, but I hope you're able to see the top of the iceberg and realize how much more lies hidden underneath. I'm so glad I'll get to spend Mother's Day weekend with you. I love you!!
Happy Mother's Day, Everyone!