Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mom's Pearls of Wisdom part 7

My mom is paying it forward.

Not only is my mom a great mom, but she is a great grandma. I love to see her interact with my kids, and seeing how much they love her. Sam talks about her "Mack" all the time and asks when we will go visit them in Utah.

It cracked me up watching my mom prepare for being a grandmother. When I was pregnant with Sam, she spent months and months thinking about what she would like to be called as a grandma. She felt that she should pick her name because otherwise, the oldest grandkid sets the precedent for everyone else, and how fair is that? After thinking about it forever and running a lot of (truly awful) nicknames by me, she decided she wanted to be called "Grams."

Of course, when Sam was around a year old, she got it in her head that she wanted to call my mom "Mack." We don't know where it came from, but it was there, and Sam can be pretty adamant. She flatly refused to call her anything else. If we said "No, Sam, it's G-G-G-Grams!" She would respond "No! Ma-Ma-Ma-MACK!" So stubborn, that kid of mine. Where does she get it? Anyway, "Grams" thought it was so cute that her baby granddaughter came up with her very own pet name for her that she promptly accepted the change and was re-christened "Mack."
This taught me that one of the hilarious things about parenthood is that just when you think you've got it down and your kids are pretty well established, the next generation can still start throwing you curve balls. My mom is continuing to teach me to just "go with the flow." And she seems to be loving it. Sam (and Peyton) are loving it too.

We love you, Mack! And we miss you, but we're excited to visit soon. Besides, if we lived closer, Sam's teeth would all rot and fall out from all the candy you and dad slip her (even the stuff you think I can't see). Happy Mothers' Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mom's Pearls of Wisdom part 6

Mom can admit that she's wrong, because sometimes she is.

After Daniel and I broke up while he was serving his mission, she was trying to fix my broken heart. She told me I didn't have to marry someone I had known a really long time. "In fact, I feel like you haven't even met the man you will marry yet."

Okay, win some, lose some. The point she was making turned out to be wrong, as I not only married someone I'd known a long time, but it actually happened to be Daniel. She did cheer me up, however, and that was her ultimate goal. She handled a tough situation with tact, which kept things from being awkward when we did get back together.
Plus, she's happy to be wrong on that count, and has always told me how much she loves my husband, and I appreciate that.
So does he.

My mom is a class act.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mom's Pearls of Wisdom part 5

I still talk to my mom everyday. When we were first married, my husband thought it was weird, apparently he had never met anyone who talked to their mother as much as me. He might still think it's weird, but he's stopped saying anything about it, which is exactly how I like it.
She is a great confidant and friend, but we don't just talk about ourselves and our own stuff.
My mom and I like to talk politics, sociology, current events, whatever.

She knows sometimes I feel my world is very small, so she sends me gifts that make me feel smart and connected to the world. It's because of her that I read Mental Floss and The Week magazines--both of which I love! She gets my quirkiness and knows how to indulge it.

We don't always agree about everything, but we can talk about it and get over it. I'm rarely ever mad at my mom for more of a day--which is a big deal for someone who can get as worked up as me over nothing. I always ask her advice on dealing with other people, because she always seems to know how to handle things correctly without offending people.

My mom is a great friend and mediator.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mom's Pearls of Wisdom part 4

My mom is a mom.
Along with the inspiring stuff, comes the endlessly embarrassing stuff.
My mom listened (cough. cough. listens. cough.) to disco. She used to try to clean the bathroom in its entirety during the full dance version of "MacArthur Park." I believe it was 16 minutes long--but I'm too scarred by embarrassment to look it up and risk reopening those wounds.
I found her choice in music utterly humiliating.
For the most part, I still do (no offense, mom, but MacArthur park still totally blows).
However, now that I get to spend a large chunk of time with teenage girls at church, I realize that my taste in music is starting to make me the old fogey. While I do like some new music, I don't like most of this crap they call music today, and I'm only getting worse. It's humbling, but painfully true.
So mom, now I can say I am joining your club as a musical loser. Or in your generation's lingo, "a square."
Do we get T-shirts?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mom's Pearls of Wisdom part 3

My mom is dedicated.
She always had to work, but it was important for her to be home with us when we were home from school. Because of that commitment, she has worked some miserable jobs over the years--far below her skill level to accommodate her schedule, evening shifts, early morning shifts, babysitting for 12 hour days--just so she could do what she felt was right for our family.

It doesn't matter to me what each individual family situation is, or how families choose to work that out. Everyone makes choices in this life based on their own needs, and I won't question that. I feel blessed to be able to stay home with my children (even if it isn't what I had thought I wanted before I had kids). However, my mom's commitment has made me realize that if I had to make it work, I could and would do anything I had to to support my family. Hopefully, I could also do it without making my children question my love for them. I never wondered if my mom wanted to be with us, she got up and worked in the wee hours while we slept so she could be home in time for school to prove where her heart was. Now that we're older, she has a full-time job she adores, where she has become successful, and made a name for herself. She was clearly always capable of "much more" in the corporate world, she just realized that she wanted to mean much more to us instead.
I am so lucky that she put that off for so long, just for us. I am proud to say:
My mom is a worker bee.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mom's Pearls of Wisdom part 2

My mom gives great advice:
The best advice she ever gave me? "Don't just automatically take advice from someone who has something to gain from your decision. Pay attention, and think it through."

Thanks, mom. You were sooooo right. Unfortunately, you also shot yourself in the foot for later gems such as "You know what's great to have--kids!" and "I think you should move to Utah."
Busted by your own advice. Story of every mom's life at some point or another.

Of course, it worked out for her okay on one front, since she does have two grandkids (just so we're clear, that's not because she told me to). Don't hold your breath for our relocation, however.

My mom is wise.