Hey guys! I wanted to post this little piece that I wrote about my mom for an Oprah thingy on her web site a few years back. I wrote it just being funny and sent it to my sisters and mom. Well, it began to get passed around and read at women’s groups and meetings and whammy, people who don’t even know my mom thought it was funny. I guess because a lot of moms are C+ moms and we love them just the same! Enjoy!
C+ Mom~ A tribute to Jeanne.
My mom is by no means the Greatest Mom in the world. With a very wide smile on my face I can sincerely say that she is at best a C+ Mom. She’s not one of the predestine, genetically disposed, women who dedicate their entire lives to the well being and happiness, and we must not forget safety and organic intake, of their children. On the contrary, my mom was more like a big sister to us than a mother, hands down. She just wasn’t wired for domesticity. Her most cooked meal in the 1970′s was Velveeta Cheese melted on fried hamburger and put on top of whatever was available. It wasn’t pleasant. I think she went to three of our sporting event which numbered in the hundreds, at which she yelled to the coach to take her kid out~ that being me~ and put one of those benched kids in. I didn’t know socks were supposed to match until I went to college~ each other~ much less your outfit. Don’t get me wrong. Even though my mother was in no way cut out for motherhood she somehow supernaturally kept trying. Saddled with the Catholic doctrine of no birth control and a serious, much spoken of healthy sex drive, she and my dad happily produced six children.
We consistently ran out of toilet paper, milk and underwear. We turned the channel on our television with a wrench as we held out cones of tin foil trying to get reception. We laughed, wrestled, and board gamed our way through childhood with clothes on that she made in about a an half hour. She chatted loudly on the phone while she pushed the vacuum and sang songs to Jesus way off key into a soup ladle as she did the dishes. If we didn’t do a good job cleaning the bathroom she came, flung Comet everywhere and said try again. If we didn’t put our dirty laundry downstairs in the morning she hung it out on the bushes in our front yard for all our school friends to see. This made us roll about in hysterics. One drastic morning she loaded the dirty luandry into our little red wagon and left it sit in front of our school. I have now become a Holy Name legend because of it. Now I realize those kids born to the psychologicilly wonderful mothers would need therapy after such an event but we laughed our heads off and made our youngest sister Jackie pull the wagon home. It was that or a good swift kick in the pants. The wagon was a much better alternative. That was our mom, half cracked and loads of fun. We thought kids with Bike helmets were nerds as we swung on the cat walk under neath the local bridge 60 feet in the air. We threw tomatoes at cop cars and ran like the Dickens as the A+ mothered children lie clean in their beds. At the end of the day we stayed up too late watching ‘The Late Show’ and had popcorn for supper on Sundays all the while snuggled under a blanket with too many siblings, feet above the register for the warm air, all wrapped around each other and giggling with mom who was always under there with us.
As we hit those difficult teenage years we all dropped over in shock when we found out that our friends thought she was the coolest mom ever??!!! Who knew? She took them in as if they were her own, answered uncomfortable sex questions, advocated with coaches and parents and boy scout leaders, listened to them and sincerely cared. Teens swarmed about our front porch and swung there even when she made us sing KumbaYa and Glory to the Father! She gave us advice on boy friend’s, prom dresses, and how to stay out of gossip. ”If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. If we went to parties that we were too young for she pulled up in the blazing red station wagon and yelled our names and beeped the horn until we emerged. “Don’t talk until we get home,’ she would say as we angrily entered the car, “You will have all week to talk to me about it because you are grounded”. More Kumbaya on the front porch.
When she became our children’s grandmother we again were amazed that she staid out of the conflicts new marriages can bring unless of course she wanted to tell us off. Then she spoke her piece and went home. With our kids she took each one in as her own, except she fed them candy now instead of organic wheat germ like we had to eat and laughs when they are naughty instead of making them stand with their noses together. Let’s just say every single grand child knows exactly where the candy drawer is by the age that they can reach to open it. They love grandmas and as they grow into adults her house has become the escape away from home to run to when things get too hot at our houses.
My goodness how do people stand perfect A+ mothers? I mean can you even beat them in Scrabble? Do they drag your kids around on pieces of cardboard through the back yard until neither can even get up? Do they fly down water slides, and sled hills, and bike paths, still at the age of 70?
I’ll take my C+ mom over the world’s best any day. She’s funnier, prettier, more well rounded than any of your super moms, she helps people in need, cries like a baby if you tell her a sob story, cares for so many without a word, and always has extra Velveeta and Soda Crackers if your hungry. She’ a blast on vacation, never meddles in her children’s marriages, and buys God awful Christmas presents. But she’s mine and that’s good enough for me!