To The Woman I Love!

Yes, there is a woman that I love! She goes by the name of mom…and today is her birthday! Because this year I am across the ocean from her on her birthday I thought I may try my own version of a Hallmark card blog style. Remember how I mentioned my mom is the waterworks type? Well that is the goal of this post, in the best way possible though. Happy tears mom…happy tears.

You’d probably not even believe me if I told you hold she is today. She is…..are you kidding me, did you really think I would say how old my mom was? She would disown me an ocean away! My mom is however very hip, trendy, cool, however it is that you say it, for her age. She actually always has been that way though. Whenever friends wanted to get together it was always at our house for that very reason, cool parents (yeah, my dad is cool too). My brother and his punk rock band would even practice in our basement on school nights. Gasp all you want, but they were a good bunch of kids, mainly band nerds exploring their creative sides, and also trying to pick up girls. Why else would someone be in a punk rock band? Duh…

Most of the time while we were school age my mom was a stay at home mom, it wasn’t until my sister and I were in high school that she went back to work. Until then though we sucked up all of mom’s energy and I think she personally loved it. We were constantly involved in activities year round and she made sure she went to every single thing possible. During the summer there was swim team. We would typically bike our way to and from practice but there was one year where there was about a week where it was so damn cold the only thing you could do was jump in the water and not get out. None of this poking a toe in to acclimate your body because there was no acclimating to be had. During this week she drove us to practice and surprised us with the best hot chocolate a kid has ever had. I’ll never forget how much I appreciated her that day.

Then there was soccer, which was pretty much year round because we played indoor soccer during the winter, school soccer during the spring, and club soccer summer and fall. I told you I loved soccer. This brings me to another thing about my mom, she always listened to us kids no matter what we had to say. One day after being asked to play soccer with the boys during recess in the 5th grade is when I decided I wanted to play. I went home from school that day and told mom I wanted to play soccer. Shortly after me telling her this, my sister and I were both put on a team, the Kickers (clever name huh?). Mom was an excellent soccer mom indeed. She learned the ins and outs of soccer and would give us pointers after games (even when my sister and I didn’t want to listen), she’d bring healthy snacks for us to munch on in between games when we had tournaments, and then there was that one time…the time her mom skills kicked into high gear. I was running all over the field playing my little heart out when all the sudden I couldn’t catch my breath. The more I panicked the more I couldn’t breathe. With tears streaming down my face, I came running off the field trying to squeak out to her that I couldn’t breathe. She knew right away I was having my first ever asthma attack. She sat me down on the ground between her legs with her arms wrapped around me and proceeded to rock me while telling me to calm down and breathe slowly. I’ll tell you, your mom’s arms are the place to be when you’re freaking the heck out. Something about rocking mom arms can calm anyone down. From that day on out I was properly equipped with an inhaler. Thanks mom…

A little less intense than soccer was my love music which mom also loved. When I was in the 5th grade the entire class had a night where we could all come and try out different instruments to see if we wanted to play in the band. This is where I was introduced to the oboe. I said right then and there that I wanted to play that instrument but I was told by my music teacher that it was too hard of an instrument to play. Yeah, I know…why introduce a kid to an instrument if you’re just going to tell them it’s too hard? I don’t get it either. The music teacher suggested playing the alto saxophone instead, saying that I could transition to the oboe later because they had “similar” ways of pushing buttons to make notes. Looking back I think there were about three that were similar. Whoopee! Anyway, I started on the sax, excelled at it and then got bored and took on the oboe at the same time. Yes, I played two instruments at the same time while in the 5th and 6th grade, heck, in the 6th grade I was even asked to play the bassoon by my teacher but never fully picked that up. My mom was always at every single band performance and made sure I practiced for my oh-so-hated private lessons. We’d be driving to one of my lessons and my mom would be ta-ta-ta’ing at me (she knows what I mean when I say this) to help me practice getting my correct tongue composure.

Remember when I said my mom would always listen to us kids? She still does that to this day. While back in the states I think I would talk to my mom maybe three times a week and my husband and I would often stay at my parents on the weekends when we didn’t feel like driving back to good ol’ Wahoo. When I was pregnant with the boys Sean was working on his largest architecture project for his final year in the Master’s program. Because he worked long hours at the college we decided it was best that we move in with my parents to be closer to the hospital and so that I would have help nearby. Mom worked part time so we hung out a lot. She would make sure I got out of the house with my outrageously huge belly, because “fresh air is good for you” she says. During this time it was the Lent season of the Lutheran church we attended so my mom would take me to the Wednesday Lent service where the old ladies would gasp over my size from week to week and couldn’t believe I was back again. It was actually a Wednesday that I went into labor so I bet all the old ladies were jumping for joy. Not because I wasn’t there but because that meant babies were on the way. It was actually mom who drove me to my final doctor appointment, one appointment I will never forget. My doctor had been out of the office earlier that week when I wanted to see him because he had told me all along that once I made it to 36 weeks that he could schedule to have me induce, and I wanted induced NOW! Between the pregnancy related liver disease, constant heart burn, lack of sleep (I slept sitting straight up in my parents’ rocker/recliner chair), and constant pain, I was so ready to not be pregnant anymore. I was running a fever, and was hiving contractions that I was trying to ignore when the doctor’s office called and said that they could finally get me in within the hour. Sean was still at school at the time so I called mom and she graciously left work to take me to the doctor (which was actually across the street from where she works). It was at the doctor’s office where it was discovered that I was already 3cm dilated. Cue emotional pregnant lady with a fever…the inherited waterworks began. So it was my mom who drove me to the hospital. I’m sure if she could have, she would have put me between her legs and rocked me in her arms to help calm me down, instead she helped me get checked in at the hospital and talked me through my emotional distress.

Thank you mom…for everything. I really do appreciate every little thing you have done over the past years.

Happy Birthday!

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