My mom has a lot of names. J calls her Momma. L and I just call her Mom. Some of our friends call her Mama C. She has a lot of children in her life, too, and they call her Miss Nancy. When she goes to Starbucks, her name is Kate. Yet she always signs her emails “Mumsie.” I think she thinks she’s British.
When we lived with her, she’d give us the same spiel every time we left the house: “Be safe! Be a light! Love Jesus!” Now we tell her the same thing, because she’s getting old, you know, and might forget. Sometimes she told me not to flirt with – gasp – boys (as if I even
know knew how) and I would tell her the same thing. If she was heading out with my dad, she’d wink and say, “Can’t promise anything.” And I’d be all “ewwwwwwww” and she and my dad would just laugh manically.
Mom taught our Sunday school classes when we were little and sometimes she substituted at my elementary school. I was so. cool. when I got to stay after school and help her clean up her classroom. All of our friends loved and respected my mom – many times when they visited, I’d catch them hanging in the kitchen, chatting with her. They loved their own mothers, yes, but my mom was “second mom” to many.
One time, when I was in high school, a friend and I were in my bedroom, gossiping about the dreaded boys, especially the one who we thought liked me but I didn’t really like him and it was the source of so much teenage angst, but the funny thing is that my mom really liked him and thought he was adorable and was always teasing me about him, when my mom came in to say hello to my friend. And then she said, “And don’t talk too much about that sweet little (ha like I would really put his name here because I’m friends with his wife on Facebook and I don’t think they read my blog but you can never be too careful with The Internet, you know)!” And my friend laughed and laughed and said to me, “Your mom is so cool!” I, of course, was way too cool to agree with her but deep down inside, I knew she was right.
My mom is entering the grandma years and I don’t know if I’m more excited to be an aunt this summer, to watch my brother become a daddy or to see Mom become Grandma. She dotes on the children at church and often brags to me, “I got to watch the twins today!” She is so delighted with her infant friends and tells stories about them as if they were her own grandchildren. I mean, I have never seen a grown woman laugh so hard over small children who don’t belong to her before. It’s hilarious and lovely and makes me a little think that this is merely a shadow of what’s to come when my brother’s child makes his appearance. Her grandson will be one lucky little guy.
My mom loves Jesus. She leaves little post-it notes in her kitchen window to remind herself of Gospel truths. She writes verses inside the cabinet doors in permanent marker. Everywhere there are reminders of people to pray for. She is okay with not having answers and often, when I’m struggling with someone or something, her first question is, “Have you prayed about it?” My mom teaches me to love Jesus – and to be more like Him.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! Thank you for teaching me about holding babies, the glories of pull through parking spots, the wonder of monkey bread, giving generously, hiding the pickle at Christmas, special birthdays, the value of a dollar, encouraging lavishly, going on family walks, putting other people first and, above all, treasuring Jesus.
I love you!