There are a lot of things I love about my mom. She gave me and my sister a pretty incredible childhood with lots of Mr. Potato Heads, little debbie snack-cakes, movies at the $1 theater, Saturday night steaks and The Love Boat, and fun girls-only trips to the coast where we'd have burping contests with shaken-up bottles of Dr. Pepper.
She also has always been the make-up queen and taught me how to gussy myself up for special occasions, like my big sister's wedding.
She's kept the bond really tight between all us girls, teaching me what it means to support each other through thick and thin, lean and plenty.
She loves Ted like her own son.
She's a doting grandmother who parades Abe around her workplace, tacks his picture up everywhere, and shows everyone the blog.
Maybe what I love best is symbolized in the locket she wears around her neck every day. She puts the names of children in there that she prays for, children who are sick or lost or who need to be prayed home.
She lets my friends call her to talk about motherhood, even if she was watching Idol. She used to be a foster parent for many years, always bringing in the most special needs babes out there, in need of an especially gentle touch. She taught me not to be afraid of any disability a child might have. She taught me that you survey the situation, pray, and gently yet determinedly forge ahead into deeper waters of compassion and patience. She's bravely allowed her heart to be broken by these little ones many times.
Over the phone, she says, "Mm-hm" when I tell her that the best Mother's Day gift I can get is simply to be Abe's mom. All weekend, I can't stop thinking about my friends who are still waiting to be "mom," and my heart breaks for them. And I hold Abe a little tighter, and my Momma gets this.
I also really like that she has been known to rock out to "Purple Haze," if it happens to come on the classic rock station while she's driving back-roads during a Mississippi thunderstorm. Momma's gotta rock sometimes, right?