Growing up, Mom and I didn't always get along. We butted heads pretty much on a regular...well, hourly...basis. I thought she was stifling my passions. I'm pretty sure she thought I was possessed. I wasn't a "bad" kid, per say. I was just sassy-mouthed and gave little 'tude. We're good friends now. I figured out we have the same personality so I can control her...mwahahahahaaaa ahem. Love you, Mom. Here's a few of my favorite Ruth & Mom: Clash of the Titans moments.
I was probably in the 8th or 9th grade and I felt like we were always writing reports. I had a 2-page book report assignment due that week and I hadn't picked a book yet. I was pretty good at winging stuff, so I thought, " I've got pleeeeenty of time." Mom didn't think so. She kept on and on and on about what book I was doing my report on. I kept saying things like, "I've got it narrowed down to two." But, after she decided I'd narrowed it down long enough, she picked the book for me. She came home from the library one day with a book about seeing eye dogs. She thought I would like it because she knew I loved animals. I secretly loved it, but I couldn't let her know that. I huffed and puffed and strolled past Sara, who was doing her schoolwork in the kitchen. I couldn't say anything out loud to Mom, but SOMEone had to know how much agony I was in. I muttered under my breath..."this sucks." I just needed some sympathy from her, but what I didn't take into account was that Sara was a TATTLETALE. So, of course, she says loud enough for Mom to hear, "Ruth, you shouldn't say that." Mom rushes back in and asks what I said. I glared the anger of 1,000 suns at Sara...traitor. I then had to write a 15-page report on seeing eye dogs. It actually turned out to be one of my favorite papers ever written, but I can't let them know that.
It was probably that same year (I was extra sassy around 14-15) and I was working on some math problems. They were stupid hard and I was getting frustrated. Mom walks into the room and innocently asks, "What are you working on?" I spouted, "What does it look like?!" Heh heh...maaan, I didn't see a computer or TV or the light of day for about a month.
Remember the age of Birkenstocks? I mean, they're still around, but people are a little shyer about wearing them. I still have mine. Hey, they're comfy. I remember BEGGING my parents to let me have a pair. Everybody else had them, so I needed them. Mom and Dad were never ones to buy us 1. whatever we wanted or 2. buy us something just because it was popular at the time. But, for some reason, they gave in and bought Sara and I our own pair of Birkenstocks. I wore them a fair amount, but the "new" wore off soon enough. We were heading to some kind of festival and it was hot outside. Mom suggested I wear my Birkenstocks. I felt like they weren't "cool" anymore and I'm guessing Mom was picking up on that. I said I was going to wear another pair of shoes. She said, "We bought you those sandals because you said you'd wear them all the time and with everything." I insisted I had been wearing them frequently, but wasn't in the mood today. An overly-long conversation ensued and I ended up going barefoot.
This actually happened maybe 3 years ago. We were at my parents' house visiting and they had a 13-layer chocolate cake, which is one of my favorites. Probably top two. If you know me, you know I would do anything for my loved ones. I'd give internal organs or bone marrow or anything. But, don't ask me to share dessert. JOEY DOESN'T SHARE FOOD!!! After supper, I had the most perfect piece of chocolate cake. I'm minding my own business, in my own little world with my cake and Mom walks by and pinches off a little. Ugh, whatever. She walks back by and pinches off a LOT. Then, she grabs my fork and eats a pretty generous chunk of it. I look at her like, "WOMAN," and all she responds with is, "What?" I growl and cut myself another piece...the same size as the first. Another thing about me is that my eyes are bigger than my stomach. I always get way too much thinking I can eat it. Mom said, "If you cut that big of a piece, you are going to eat every last bite." I responded with, "Uh, duh." About 40 minutes later, I struggling with that cake. I swear, it was expanding. It's like Chinese food...it just got bigger and bigger. I couldn't eat anymore. I look around to see if anybody is watching. Nobody. I head to the trash can. OUT OF NOWHERE pops my Dad. He grabs me and forces me back to the table. Mom apparates and grabs my fork. Dad holds me down while Mom shovels the rest of the cake in my mouth. I was crying laughing. I couldn't swallow anything. I'm pretty sure I wet myself a little. It was completely ridiculous, but I did it. That was less of a fight and more of a regular family event.
Mom and I didn't always fight. We had some good times, too.
In 3rd grade, my last year before we started homeschooling, one of the school projects was to make our own kite and bring to class to fly during recess that day. What other kind of kite does an 8-year old girl want on her kite but Batman. Mom stayed up for two nights straight making my kite. I helped a little, but my bedtime was 8pm, so what was I to do. And it was perfect. She did the logo exactly right. Everybody was so jealous of my kite. I got first prize. Best kite ever.
You know I love horses. I begged Mom to let me take lessons. She gave in and Sara and I took English for a few years. It was heaven. One day during our lesson, Sara did something stupid (I don't know what, but I'm assuming it was dumb because Sara did it) and freaked out the horse. She fell off and he stepped on her leg, leaving the most amazing horseshoe bruise ever. Mom decided no more horseback riding lessons. I was devastated. I knew she was doing it to protect us. But still, I was sad. Several months, maybe a year, passed and wonderful wonderful Mom found a guy in our hometown with a load of horses and he said he would take us riding any time we wanted. So, pretty much every weekend, we went riding. And it was Western riding this time. The best kind. No weird maneuvers that make Sara do lame stuff to get herself thrown. We rode bareback most days anyway. I'll always remember her doing that for us, even though I knew horses scared the livingness out of her.
Mom didn't (and doesn't) like animals very much, but we all did. Dad was neutral about it. But, Mom would always let us have cats. And every now and then, you would catch her sitting on the porch petting them. I know she's an animal lover deep down. Deeeeeeeeeeeeep down. WAY deep down. But, it's there.
Mom was always so encouraging about whatever we were interested in. When it came time to decide what we wanted to do with ourselves, she and Dad would gently steer us in directions that wouldn't leave us penniless and on the streets, but if we were serious about something, they were always supportive. I changed my mind a million times in high school...marine biology, veterinary medicine, theatre, art, marine biology again, finally settling on graphic design...and every time, she would help me research schools with the best programs.
She was the first one to take me seriously when I said, at 16, that I found the guy I was gonna marry. (I wouldn't have taken me seriously, so it meant a lot that she did.)
I've said it before, but I never would have made it the first year (at least) with twins without her.
I have an amazing mom. And I know how blessed I am.
Happy Mother's Day to the ones who carried life within their wombs, to the ones who opened their hearts and homes to those without homes and claimed them as their own, to the ones who are already Moms but are waiting on God's timing. You are treasured.