31 July 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Mom and I in February of this year
Let me tell you a bit about my mom. I won't tell you how old she is, though I can assure you it's quite young. My mom raised seven kids, and has homeschooled them all. Technically, she's only about halfway through that job, with three kids out of the house and the youngest entering 2nd grade in a matter of weeks. At least I think it's 2nd grade; it could be 1st. She's also moved her gang in and out of any number of houses. Once, she lived with five of us kids--at the time we were all ten and under--in a 23 ft. motorhome that was parked in a campground for nine weeks. Dad was there too, but he was working, so he didn't have to be inside with us quite as much. I would say that she was a saint, only that would be patently untrue. She has carried the nickname "the Bad Twin" throughout her life, and used to regale all of us kids with stories from her childhood about all the times when she deservedly got in trouble and all the other times when she should have got in trouble but didn't. These stories involved exciting props such as dumpsters, shaving cream, broken doors, ketchup, garbage bags, toothpaste, hairbrushes, and shattered windows. She's always claimed that the part that makes her such a good mom is that she was such a bad child--she's knows all the tricks that a mischievous child might be up to. She is very smart, and doesn't have any trouble thinking outside the box when it comes to problem solving. For Mom, sometimes thinking outside the box means that if you want to get a new dining room table, you need to burn your current broken dining room table and 12 chairs before Dad gets home from work and fixes it, but, ya know, you do what you have to! Boy, that was quite the fire.

Mom's the one who taught me some of the most important things I hold onto in my life. Things like  "Sometimes it's better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission" and "It's better to look good than to feel good." She taught me that things are not important, not compared to people. When we invest our time and money and emotions into people, we're making a good investment. When we invest our time and money and emotions into things, it really isn't worth it. So don't scream at a kid when they break something expensive on accident--after all, which one is worth more?

Mom is Irish, for the most part, and her temper shows it. Most of the time no one in our family is willing to play Risk with her because she gets a bit vicious. She'll deny it, but all of us agree. There's a slightly better chance of beating her in Euchre, because she hardly ever gets dealt decent cards. She believes that the seemingly inevitable farmer's hands that she gets dealt are most likely punishment for her sins.

"Small, but powerful" is a phrase we often use to describe her, and it becomes ever more appropriate as more and more of her children grow to tower over her. She wore glasses her whole life until a few years ago, when she decided that she didn't need them any more. Just a little frightening, but no one can convince Mom that she ought to wear glasses if she doesn't think she needs to. She's proud of her gray hairs, and says she's earned every one of them through the various trials of parenting seven of her own children plus the many more who call her "Mom."

She considers Angel her son, and therefore considers anyone in their mid to late twenties the same age as her own children. Never mind the fact that in reality her children span in age from 5 to 21. She likes jigsaw puzzles and Korean dramas, and has put up with all manner of drama from her children, every one of whom she describes as "high-strung." We aren't a laid-back family, and we haven't lived a laid-back life. I love my mom because she's always made it obvious that she loves being my mom, whether I'm in the depths of despair or the heights of delight. Because, I'm Anne of Green Gables, minus the red hair. And I've always wanted a mom who could be bad, but wouldn't. Or at least, most of the time wouldn't.

 Mom and I, approximately 20 years ago.
Anonymous said...

What a great post, Rachel. Your Mom most definitely looks young, and she's a beautiful woman. I was laughing at the thoughts of burning the broken dining room table..too funny. And you just had to end your post with one of my obsessions..the wonderful world of Anne of Green Gables! Love it! Hope you have a fabulous day!

Katie Cook said...

Yeah for mom's! Sounds like yours is quite the adventurer! I guess she would have to be with 7 kids, haha! love Katie

Unknown said...

Such a sweet post for your mom :) Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Kitty said...

Happy Birthday to your Mom!! :D Enjoyed reading about her! :)

Dalayna Dillon said...

Moms rule to world! hehe Seriously tho. I am a new follower from the GFC blog hop. Looking forward to keeping up with your blog. You can find me over at See ya around! :D

Girls Love Fried Pickles said...

Happy Birthday to your gorgeous mom!