I've been blogging pretty consistently for more than three years now. In that time, I've written big mushy posts for my wife, birthday posts for my sister, my other sister, my grandfather and my dad. I've written several times to my oldest son, and once about my soon to be second son. But I haven't written a big syrupy post for my mom. I thought today would be a good day to end that streak. (There's some sort of federal holiday today so I've got some free time to get it done.)
While it's not an excuse, the main reason I've never written a post for my mom is because (unlike my dad, my sisters or my grandfather) I talk to mom almost every day. I may not have made big sweeping gestures to show her how important she is to me, but I do it (I hope) in small ways all the time. I'm respectful, and always have been (except for a brief period in my teens, when I'm fairly certain I was possessed), I end every conversation (even the slightly tense ones) with "I love you," and last January, I helped bring home her newest grandbaby (so I think I've got a fair sized deposit in the bank of mom love).
I love my dad (as I expressed in the post referenced above) but I am unabashedly, unashamedly and irrevocably a mama's boy. My dad's one consolation should be that it appears my first son is on the same road, so I'm getting a dose of my own medicine! Dad is the outdoorsy type and I...am not (I think that's all that needs to be said on that subject). On weekends from as far back as I can remember (and farther I'm told), Dad would traipse off into the woods and I would join Mom shopping, playing cards etc. I made a few efforts in my youth to connect with Dad on his hobbies, but none of them ever really took, so now it's Mom that I share so many common interests with.
Mom knew just the right amount of spoiling. There's no doubt that through her (with assists from Nana and my Aunt Ann) Jena (lil sis) and I got more than our fair share of attention/toys/etc., but some 27 years later, I think we both turned out alright, so she must not have over done it. This is one of the main tenants of my mother's patented Plan o' Parenthood that I'm trying to emulate. (I figure if I can't naturally be my son's favorite, I'll buy his love).
My mom was the cool mom in high school. No, she didn't host drinking parties or help arrange weekend rendezvous' for teenage couples (can you believe there are moms that do these things?) but she was the one that my friends talked to about issues they felt unable to share with their parents. My friends and I spent a lot of time at my house, because my mom knew just how much space to give us. There were definitely times when I didn't see that, but I've since realized that I didn't see a lot of things as a teenager.
One of my favorite things about my mother is the way she incorporated Dad's kids from his first marriage into our family. Angie and Jason (though they're each a decade older) have always been my siblings, not my half-siblings. I think Mom's as much to thank for that as anyone.
As great a mom as she is, there is no doubt in my mind that the job she was born for was Grandmother (or more correctly, Oma). When my nephew, Hunter, was born mom was just in her early 30s. But she took to Oma-ing like a fish to water. Two grandsons and a granddaughter later, and I think she'd rank favorably on the all-time Grandma list. She's up for Hall of Fame voting next year, and if not for a few petty sportswriters, I think she'd go in unanimously.
While we've moved about as far as we can from her and Dad and still remain in the same state, she still finds time to visit us with an alarming rate of frequency (it's funny, she didn't get down here that often before Son #1 was born. Maybe they've put in a new interstate or something). She's been a great grandmother so far and I imagine the streak will continue with our next entry (no matter what we call him).
Mom, you've been a great example for me of a loving and fun parent. I appreciate all the help in getting off the ground with my own little family. I'd like to point out that for the first time in my life I (yes, really me) mailed you a Mother's Day card this year, so some of your lessons are finally sticking.