There’s a lot more, but as I contemplated those particular items, it hit me how much I owe to my mom.
Growing up in the 1970s, I knew a lot of kids with working moms, career women who went to “the office” to earn their way in a man’s world. Not my mom. She was home every day when I got home from school. She made dinner every night, baked birthday cakes and sewed our clothes. “Doesn’t it bug you when they act like they’re better than you?’ I asked, half-believing it myself.
“They made their choice.” She looked over her glasses at me. “They have to respect my right to choose for myself too.” Somehow, I wasn’t sure she was just talking to them.
Mom liked to cook and she was good at it, but that wasn’t the only reason she did it. “Do you know how expensive it is to out?”
She managed money well. Cooking. Clipping coupons. Sewing our clothes – even, blessedly only briefly, our underwear.
Mom didn’t do all of this just to make a home for us. Her policy was open door. Friends stayed to dinner, called her "Mom" and sometimes came over when I was out. I remember calling home from camp to find my room occupied. “Is that ok?”
“Sure. If she needs underwear, tell her to take the home-made stuff.”
Growing up, it was just home.
As an adult, I’ve come to realize just how cool it was and just how much is has influenced my own decisions although I haven’t duplicated the choices my mother made. Unlike my mom, I work, but I work from home as a writer. When I told her my plan, her response was simple: “It’s about time you figured it out.” Seems like she’d seen it coming way far away, but I didn’t discover this path until I quit listening to college counselors and advisors. Instead, I had to listen to that little voice. And my mom.
When money got tight, we started casting around for solutions. I could take on more work or try for an office job. Or, we could quit eating out. Guess which choice we made? We eat out maybe twice a month and don’t really miss it.
And eating in enables us to have friends over, because today just like in the 1970s, one of the coolest ways to show someone that they matter is to feed them.
As I think about the many things I’m thankful for, I only have one thing to say . . . Thanks, Mom.
Thank You for
all that I have,
all that I am,
and all that I may
one day become.
this is possible because
of the opportunities
You gave me,
You sent my way.
Please help me
give back to the world,
by being the glowing example
that You mean for me to be
each and every day.
In my actions,
and my love
may others see You
shining through me.