My mother plays ping-pong in high heels.
But keep your guard up, unsuspecting reader: she’ll kick your butt in those heels.
(I’m speaking figuratively, of course. My mom probably won’t literally kick you in the bum, although, should she decide to do so, the heels would be a functional accessory.)
After my Mom lays the smack down on the ping-pong table, she puts the backs of her wrists on her hips and does a dainty “Superiority Dance,” very much reminiscent of a chicken strut.
Now, here’s the kicker: the Superiority Dance is not obnoxious. It is endearing, mostly because, on the rare occasion that Mom is a ping-pong-loser, she thinks her losses are just as hilarious as her wins.
It’s Thursday night. I am laying on my living room floor with my hands on my head.
My hands are on my head because my brain is spinning. My brain is spinning because I want to honor my mother on my blog for Mother’s Day, but the idea of capturing her essence in such a length-restricting medium is insane.
Where do I begin? I revere her, and yet the only way I can think to start this post is to discuss her chosen foot dress for ping-pong.
Quick–here are the facts: Some people are “talkie, talkie.” Others are “walkie, walkie.” My mom; a walker, a do-er, a mover and a shaker, is a savvy business woman and one half of my parents’ powerful team. Her ability to separate logic from emotion is uncanny.
She makes her own strawberry jam. She rarely forgoes her “lip colah,” but frequently covers herself head to toe in dirt or grout or paint or flour or other project materials du jour. She gives you the advice you need to hear, not the advice you want to hear. Last summer, she handmade a tuxedo for Punga to wear in my sister’s wedding. The 200-person wedding was in my parents’ backyard.
She has a habit of appearing at our doorstep with exquisite homemade meals, and then disappearing again into the night. She is self-taught and well-versed in business law, tax law, medicine and financial planning. She is frugal but generous. Her people know she will be there when they need her.
She is my idol. She is my Momma.
But enough about how great my Mom is. MommaGooseNotes is supposed to provide take-away points. Want to know the three best pieces of advice I’ve received in my son’s first year? All are from my Mom.
“Trust your instincts. Don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right, even if someone you respect is advising you otherwise.”
Now, as I parent, I listen to my (and my husband’s) gut first, to my mother second, and to my pediatrician third. Ironically, I would probably be inclined to listen to my mother first, had she not instructed me to trust myself.
“Never put the desire to be your child’s friend above the need to be your child’s parent. There are millions of people in the world who can be Punga’s friend. But he only has one mother.”
This helped me when I brought Punga to get his first vaccinations. And it helps me when I tell him “no.”
“When you say ‘no,’ mean it.”
Let me just say this in regards to my own upbringing: I still do not know what would have happened if my mother had gotten to “three” when she counted to three. All I know is that I hope I never find out.
Flashback to Mother’s Day, 1988. I bought my Mom a tape measure to hang on her key chain. It sparkled with the words, “World’s Best Mom.”
Superlatives are a dime a dozen in elementary school. At that time, the only thing giving me the authority to designate my Mother the “World’s Best” was that I had four quarters in my shoe. Four quarters which were, coincidentally, borrowed from my Mom’s purse, which smelled perpetually like Big Red chewing gum.
But now I have almost thirty years of observations under my belt. In the last year alone, I have read a stack of parenting books as tall as my mother (who is not quite as tall as she says she is.)
While I would never consider myself an authority on parenting, I do now, at least, consider myself more qualified to assign the “World’s Best Mom” title.
Dear Momma: the crown is yours. Please commence superiority dance.
I am infinitely grateful for the many inspiring and loving mother figures in my life. My Momma Sharon reminds me that I am beautiful, even when I think I am not. My Gramma P taught me to respect Mother Earth, well before that was in vogue. My Memere B, mother of 7, reminds me to smile through life’s insanities. My and my husband’s 18 aunts have taught me many lessons about love and about life.
But I only have one Momma. And she is pretty special.
I sympathetically recognize that, for many people, Mother’s Day brings heavy hearts. In consideration of those whose parents are no longer with us, and of those whose parents have fallen short of expectations, I considered keeping this Mom-worshipping post private.
I later decided to shout my message from the rooftops–out of respect for those very same people, who I am sure would implore me to appreciate my Mom for all that she is.
With love for you and yours on Mother’s Day,
PS: Tell me about your Mom! I would love to hear about her!