Some of my best memories of my mom was when I was a kid. We lived on a street named “Sunny Lane” – what an idyllic street name, don’t ya think? For the most part, life on Sunny lane was idyllic. We lived across the street from another family of three – with kids the same age as myself and my brother. We still stay in touch with their family to this day. My sister, brother and myself would ride the bus to school – it would conveniently pick us up at the intersection less than a block from our house. We’d run home to find freshly baked cookies still warm from the oven, our rooms neatly picked up and sometimes a gift on our beds – most likely a new outfit that my mom picked up for us that day. My mom baked our birthday cakes. My sister still requests a homemade chocolate fudge cake from my mom for her birthdays. Traditions like that stick with you as you grow older.
My mom cooked a lot when we were kids – round steak and potatoes, roast beef, rice and gravy, baked chicken, gumbo. My father mandated that everything had to be served with rice or he would deem it ‘Yankee food’. Oh my, he’d freak if he saw the way I ate these days.
My mom taught me to drive a car with a manual transmission. She helped me move into the dorms at LSU and into my apartment there. She’d patiently describe to me how to cook my favorite meals from childhood when I’d call her from my apartment at LSU, while trying to recreate home cooked meals on my own. It was frustrating that she didn’t write down recipes or measurements, but I am finding myself following the same pattern as I cook. She always asks for a project to work on when she comes to visit me in Atlanta. We’ll sew together in the craft room, re-paint a room in the house. She loves to re-arrange furniture and “play house”. She’s a lot of fun to be around and just an all around good mom. One of those moms who seemed to know everything and could fix just about anything that a kid could royally screw up.
I was talking to her recently and she was so excited with her new bicycle that my brother bought for her for Mother’s Day. It was cute to hear her going on and on about her new bike – much like a child with their new toy. She put a basket on the front and took her dog for a ride. He loved it and I could see my mom in my head – her dog in the front basket of the bike – riding around the neighborhood, enjoying a beautiful spring day.
Her stories of her new bike remind me of her small, Honda scooter that she had when my brother and I were teenagers. I can’t recall why, but she decided to buy a Honda scooter. The thing had a max speed of 35 miles per hour, so it really wasn’t all that safe to drive on major roads. If my car happened to be in the shop for repairs, she offer to ride the scooter around town and let me borrow her car to drive to school. I’ll never forget the time she went to Hancock Fabric’s on Johnson street and bought some fabric for a cape she was making. She forgot she was on the scooter that day. She returned to the parking lot to realize she had no where to put this big, bulky fabric she’d just purchased. So, she did like any wonder-woman mom – she improvised. She folded it up, placed it on the seat and sat on top of it for the drive back to the house. Classmates of mine would spot her on her scooter around town and tell me about it at school – remarking at how cute my mom was. She is unique and she’s not afraid to be herself and for that, I thank her. It certainly makes life more interesting :) Perhaps the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree?
Not only is my Mom fun, but she’s also a very loving and giving person – it’s not uncommon for her to bake bread for friends who are going through a difficult time, pick up a small gift for someone’s birthday or offer assistance to someone in need. I remember her fretting about giving someone a gift as she is on a limited income. I told her that making something was not only a gift for the person, but a gift in the most valuable sense in that she took the time to make the gift. The gift included her time – and that’s not something many people are willing to do these days.
Today, on Mother’s Day, I’m happy that I’ve been blessed with a Mother like mine. Thank you, Mom – for a wonderful childhood and for being a great friend and support system to me as an adult. I love you!