This post does not have any how to's. It doesn't have fancy pictures. It is about my mother, whom I love.
My mother taught me how to learn. She taught me to question, to explore, to look it up. She taught me to be creative, and to take risks (although I bet she wishes she hadn't.) She taught me that other people have reasons for the things they do. She taught me empathy, and kindness. She tried to teach me to sew, and wear pink, and do my hair, and be girly. But those were things I guess I had to figure out myself.
When she was 18 years old, my mom left home to be married to my father, who was in the Navy. She moved across the country and lived in Virginia and Maine. She knew no one there but my father. I would have been terrified. She did this with no computers, no skype, no cell phone, no google maps. Long distance phone calls were so expensive, she couldn't even afford to call her mom for advice when things went wrong. She relied on her own gumption and the kindness of strangers. My mother is courageous.
When she came back to Texas, she completed a bachelors degree, even though no one expected her to need one. She rode a bus for an hour each way to get to class. She struggled through wanting a child, and being unable to have one, while her friends were busy becoming mothers. She became pregnant, and still she rode that bus, an hour each way, to and from school. My mother is tenacious.
When I was very very little, my mother started a program to video tape the sermons at her church and broadcast them on the local cable channel. In the 1980's. When no one else was doing this yet. She picked up cameras, hauled them to church, set them up, edited the tape, and returned them to the cable station, with help from a few friends. Eventually someone else took over the project, and everyone seemed to forget that it was my mom that started it all. Now every church has a program like this. My mother is innovative.
When I was 4 my mother began working at my pre-school. She worked their for 19 years, teaching 4 year olds. My mother is patient.
She developed curriculum from nothing, and worked with very little resources to come up with art projects and lesson plans for these 4 year olds. My mother is creative.
When I went to elementary school, my mother began a computer lab at my old pre-school, to teach 3, 4, and 5 year olds computer skills like how to use a mouse, and how to type. It helped them recognize letters and numbers, and helped with their fine motor skills. Her learning objectives were nearly identical to the technology TEKS that were developed by the state of Texas, about 5 years later. My mother is ingenious.
Three weeks ago, I called my mom to inform her that I was having an appraisal done and I needed to work on my curb appeal. I called her on a Saturday at 2 pm. By 4 pm she was at my house - an hour from hers - with a tray of pansies and a can do attitude. I didn't even have to ask. We worked until about 9 that night. She was back the next afternoon with an edger and my father to help. The next weekend, she was here with a tree and a shovel. She gave up two weekends to help me make my house look pretty. My mother is kind.
My mother is all these things and more. She will deny it, but she is beautiful. And I am proud of her.
Happy Mothers' Day mom.