Today’s Five Minute Friday is a bit different. I found it really hard to write poetry style as usual and to keep it short. Instead of one word, the prompt is “What Mama Did”. What did Mama do that made her your mama? I tried, but I couldn’t answer this in five minutes. Although, I did not back track and wrote freely straight through, as the other rules state. Sorry people , but Mama just deserves more than 5 minutes and for her I would break the rules! 😀 I hope you won’t mind. Next week will be back to my usual style-this one is for you Mom.
What DIDN’T Mama Do?:
Mama did so many things and still does . When we were little, she was the kind of Mama who gave us her time- so much of it! As wee ones, Mama rocked us and sang us songs until we fell asleep at night. Mama read us books…LOTS of books , and took us to libraries often. She took us to parks, she took us on nature walks in our red wagon-brother and I. We would look for treasures and collect Fall leaves. She built snowmen and went sledding down hills with us. She built us play houses and puppet show theaters. We had a play house once that was made out of a refrigerator box where she cut out windows and hung little curtains, and wall papered the inside with contact paper. She gave us an easel and finger paints. She cooked meals from scratch and there were always special treats for us – pies, cakes, cookies, you name it.
But Mama didn’t just do for us. Mama did for everyone. She held parties and parades for the neighborhood kids- She made Kool-Aid and snacks and we would line up with our bikes or wagons and parade down the block. She took us to nursing homes to not only visit Great Grandma , but to visit other elderly people that maybe didn’t have as many visitors. She took us “violet picking” in Spring and helped us make and stuff May baskets, which we would take to people all over town-ringing their doorbell and running before they could see us. Oh how we got a kick out of that!
She taught us to pray and she taught us to love.
She taught us how to be thoughtful by the things she did for others. The things she did for us. Mama is heartfelt and as a result , so are we.
She raised us up in church and we went every Sunday Morning and sometimes Sunday evening and Wednesdays too. Sunday School, Church events, Awana and youth groups in those days. She was my girl scout troop leader (and later helped brother in boy scouts), and she was a role model and a helper for not just myself, but the other girls too. She showed love to them all. She was crafty and showed us how to make many things and how to be self sufficient as home makers. She was fun, and full of ideas. She says she is not creative -but let me tell you, she is! Life was always an adventure with Mama. I can remember her taking me on road trips and cranking up oldies or my Gloria Estefan tape (Conga anyone?) in the car. She had a talent for making what could be a plain day, un-boring.
She got us involved in community events and made us believe that we could win or achieve most anything. And we did. From winning coloring contests, to spelling bees, to well -just about anything! What Mama did was believe in us and nurture healthy self esteem. She was our cheerleader. As a result I grew up thinking anything was possible and if I had a dream or a goal I went for it! She gave us wings.
What Mama also did was help us find who we were. She let us try things and never pushed us to be something we weren’t. She seemed to know how to bring out the areas where we would shine and helped us foster a strong sense of self. She wanted us to taste a little bit of everything in life which is why I am well rounded today (a bit of a renaissance woman if you will). What Mama did in those growing up years was cart us around a lot as a result ! Aside from things mentioned above, there were also ballet classes, tap dancing, baton twirling, violin, painting classes, and more.
In the times where we didn’t have as much money, we never knew it-because that never stopped Mama. She found ways to make us feel rich and blessed. I swear she knew of every free community event, and would take us on hiking or walking adventures, play games or craft things with us. Our best Christmas gift ever was one such Christmas where there wasn’t much money. We got a kitten (Click HERE to see my first cat in a doll dress if you missed the post earlier this week), and even though Mama got her for free, we didn’t know the difference and were pleased as punch! Mama is also resourceful.
What Mama did was teach us to celebrate! She celebrated (and STILL celebrates everything). From every holiday and birthday, to achievements big or small, to just silly things- like getting out of school for summer. Mama would pick us up and swing us around, singing “School’s out School’s out, the teachers let the monkey’s out!” and we would laugh and then she would drive us through dairy queen for blizzards.
The truth is – Mama was and is everything, but if you met her in person you would see her for the humble woman she is. She is not the type to talk about herself a whole lot, but the type that listens to others and makes them feel heard. She never toots her own horn and she never gives herself enough credit for her talents, because she doesn’t see herself that way. I think Mama sees herself as “just an average woman”. The truth is-she is anything but. She of course is not perfect, but she is an example of a life well spent. She has always found the fun in everything, and enjoyed life, but has also lived a life of complete service to others-be it her kids, friends & family, or random people in the communities where we have lived. She loves and serves the Lord in her daily life in these ways and more. She has led by example and instilled good character in her children.
What Mama did was set the bar of motherhood so high, that I don’t see how I could possibly match her (I don’t know how she had the energy to work and do all she did!). However, if I have the joy of being a mother someday and can be just half the mother that she was (is), then I will feel very blessed indeed.