While I was at work the other day, my mom called me. It’s not unusual for my mom to call me as we talk multiple times a day, just not typically while I am at work. So, when she called me that day, it was a bit alarming.
Although I was in the middle of something, I wanted to make sure everything was OK, so I asked her what was going on. Then, she proceeded to ask me if I knew that they weren’t making yard sticks any longer.
Knowing my mother very well and catching onto the giddy tone in her voice, I knew I had to think fast. Quickly, I responded with, “they aren’t making them any shorter either.” And my Mama, she lost it. Her giggles came straight through the phone and forced my lips up into a smirk and before I knew it, I was chuckling as well.
It’s the little things. And those things — the little ones — are the epitome of our relationship.
Oh, throughout my life she has always been there for the big things — every athletic event, academic achievements, high school and college graduation, wedding, and births of my babies — and I am so thankful for her presence during those big moments. However, the true love of a mother comes in every day leading into and following those moments. It’s the weeks, months, and years in between that truly matter.
You know, the little things.
For instance, putting down her bills so that my childhood self could crawl in her lap and snuggle with her before bedtime. As a kid, I remember wondering how my mom could, within minutes, fall asleep. Regardless how exhausted she was, she made the time and I was always right there in her lap.
When I grew too big to climb in bed with her and my dad, my mom kept an almost permanent sleeping bag next to her side of the bed and would dangle her arm off just to hold my hand. Comforting me with merely her presence and a grasp, showed me she would truly be there for me always.
During my teenage years I distinctively remember walking into the living room with anti-zit cream on my face, brushing my braced teeth, and her telling me just how beautiful I was. But, Moms, they are supposed to do that — be your biggest fan. So, I never quite fully believed her then.
It wasn’t until I started, unconsciously, telling my girls daily how beautiful they were that I realized the love and belief behind those words. That this woman, who still tells me all the time how beautiful I am, truly believes it. It’s not a fake compliment to boost my confidence. No, I am sure that there is no one in the world who thinks I am as pretty as does. And, well, it truly makes me feel as such.
In college, even during my annoyed-with-her-every-action stage, she still called daily to check on me. Funny, with all that attitude I gave her, she alway made sure that I knew how much she loved me and that my bank account stayed above zero.
As I embraced the grown-up, she has never missed a beat. With similar careers, she truly appreciates my big breakthroughs at work and consistently shares how proud she is of me. Being a mother herself, she remembers the trials and tribulations of the different stages of raising kids and often times reminds me how great of a job I am doing and never lets me forget that it’s ok for grandma to spoil just a bit (ok, a lot!).
If being measured by the big events in my life, my mother appears to have succeeded. On paper, she has raised a child who is a college graduate, full-time working woman, married with two kids, and heck, even writes a weekly article in the newspaper.
But that’s not truly what defines me — or us. Because when you pull back all the layers of each of these achievements, you uncover the little things — the unnoticed actions by her — that built up my ability to succeed. Always knowing I am loved, beautiful, doing a great job, and continually having someone to turn to who will help me learn from my mistakes and celebrate my victories, that is what has made me into who I am today.
That and, let’s not forget her infamous jokes. After all, every sighed “well” during a drop off of conversation on our daily phone calls, prompts a quick, “that’s a deep subject.” (You know, since wells are deep).
She’s cheesy – we’re even cheesier together. But one thing is for sure, I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today without her and all the little things that she has done for me.
Thank you, Mama. Happy Mother’s Day. I love you.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.