LSS: Mothers bringing out the best in us

Memories of my mother’s mothering shame me.
Throughout my childhood, she got up an hour before the rest of us and made homemade biscuits. She usually made one iron skillet of fluffy ones for my brother and another skillet of thin crunchy ones for me.
She buttered them all, called us and we would then drag our sorry selves to the table.
These days, I’m still waiting for what I thought was an adult-onset instinct to get up early each morning. Maybe my difficulty with mornings is part of why I so appreciate what she did. Both my kids get
up before me almost every morning. I don’t even make toast. They eat yogurt, fruit or a breakfast bar and are out the door.
I am not proud of this.
When I think of the good stuff my mother did – the stuff that made me a better person, there is much to choose from, but the first place my mind goes is to those breakfasts. Along the way, she gave me a whole
lot more than biscuits, but memories of eating at her early-morning table represent the essence of goodness to me.
Reflecting on my mother made me wonder what my friends’ mothers did, beyond loving them unconditionally, that made them better people. Here are a few insightful responses:
“Mom allowed me, as a teenager, to think that I was making my own decisions. She told me once what time I had to be home in high school. Then she would only say, ‘You know when to be back.’ She would say
this in a very nice way. She made me think I had some freedom and because of this, I almost always came home on time.”
– Stacey Scarce, Lafayette
“My mom instilled in me a love for baseball.” – Steve Busser, El Paso, Texas
“The dying and the death of my mother was the time I got the greatest gifts from her. That sounds yuck, but being witness to someone’s death allows you to differentiate yourself from them and yet binds you
forever together. Caring for sick parents is the most horrible thing I ever did, and it was the most important one too. It throws the pieces of your life up in the air and allows you to see yourself anew.” –
Kathleen O’Day, Lafayette
“My mom taught me how to never take life too seriously. I still remember how proud she was one day when we were looking for a red Rudolph nose and I said, ‘Oh, I have one in my purse!’ At that point, I could tell she felt she had done something right!” – Ramona Bourgeois, Bristow, Virginia
“Anytime I ever asked her what something meant, Mom made me look it up. At a very early age, she taught me how to use the set of encyclopedias and giant dictionaries. That made me a constant learner.” – Patricia Parks Thompson, Lafayette
“My mother taught me that if you see an injustice and you don’t do anything about it, then you are just as guilty as the person causing the injustice.” – Molly Stauffer, Lafayette
May each of you take a moment to bask in the love, present or past, of your mother today.

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