Today is Thanksgiving and it also happens to be my mom’s birthday. Coincidentally, it is also my mother-in-law’s birthday as well. Isn’t that vierd?
I am extremely thankful for my mom. Not just for having me but for putting up with me as a little kid. I know I was extremely annoying. I was a smart-ass (though, to be fair, some of that is genetic). One of my favorite things to do was sit around and make noises with my voice. Or drum on things. Did I also mention being a smart-ass?
She had me when she was pretty young. Only now, as I’m older, do I realize just how young she was as I grew up. And I think she did a pretty good job. Then again, I guess I’m a bit biased.
When my dad passed away, she was like 30-31 years old with a 15 year-old, a 13 year-old, and a 7-year-old to raise alone. And she did so admirably.
My mom is tough–ask anybody in my family and nobody can name anyone tougher. She’s usually referred to as a “samurai warrior”. She strikes when you least expect it. When it comes to her family, she doesn’t put up with anything. She’s the Chuck Norris of moms. When I was a kid, she was usually the disciplinarian. And for good reason. Just the thought of getting on her bad side was enough to keep the peace. I still remember the times I demonstrated the questionable judgment of running from her. Who knew she could run so fast?
But she’s also kind and generous. And has a sense of humor dryer than West Texas and sharper than a mesquite tree. And I’m glad I inherited a bit of that from her as well. One summer when I was in like 4th grade, every time me or my brother came by “her chair” (everyone in my family had their place to sit), she’d flick her fly swatter at us. We’d ask why and she’d say “I see a fly”, the picture of innocence. It wasn’t until late that evening that I finally caught on that she was referring to our zipper–and its need to be used properly. Slow on the uptake, was I.
To this day, one of my litmus tests on how to treat people is “would Mama put up with this crap?” If not, then I’m probably on the wrong path. I remember once when someone was describing, with pride no less, their ability to turn their wife’s anger around on her by manipulation or sheer pigheadedness, I thought to myself “my Mom would never have put up with that…and woe to the man who tried. Because I’d smack him myself–after she was done with him.” She’s my measure of personal strength–be it man, woman, child, or adult.
So, I’m thankful to my mom. For being an example to me. And for being everything a kid like me needed.