With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it seems only natural to take some time to reflect on who my Mom was to me growing up, and still is to this day. There are a myriad of ways my mother helped to shape me as I developed throughout my youth, however, for the sake of brevity I have decided to list the three primary things that come to mind when I think about her. 

I. She spent dedicated time with me.

My mom is a really busy person, throughout my childhood and teen years she has worked full time as a high school teacher, (she’s probably grading this blog post for grammar and spelling as we speak) and has fulfilled various volunteer roles at the local church. It seemed like the hustle was always hustling and the bustle was always bustling at our home.

Regardless of how busy things became, however, my mom always made a point to clear time in her schedule for me.

This morphed over the years, from reading time as a kid, to a movie-Monday, or sometimes just making a favorite meal and talking. Since I am a film buff, movie Mondays were a highlight of my week, especially since I got to choose the movie. I am proud to report that my Mom has watched all six Star Wars movies, all 23 James Bond movies, and pretty much every obscure cult classic from the 70’s and 80’s. (Movies today deserve more Bruce Campbell and Kurt Russell if you ask me.)

Beyond remembering the awesome movies though, the more i reflect on those times, I realize how unique and special it really was to have a parent who would sacrifice an evening solely to spend dedicated time with me. I learned the importance of family and bonding first hand, and I’m certain some day my children and I will have traditions of our very own.

II. She gave me a passion for reading.

From a practical application standpoint, this probably is most evident in my current stage of life. I type this article surrounded by dozens of books, commentaries, and notepads. From the very beginning of my earliest memories I can picture my mom reading to me and my brother. My earliest recollections are of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and the wonderful poetry of Shel Silverstein. As I got older we read through epic fantasy books such as the Belgariad. A love of reading was instilled from the very beginning. I devoured books at a young age, and although I fell out of the habit through the final years of high school, I couldn’t seem to stay away from the clutches of literature very long.

I enjoy biographies, commentaries, theological works, and any other type of book I may get my hands on. It seems today that the habit of reading and finding joy has somewhat vanished from most lives. I am glad my mom taught me the importance of valuing books.

III. She kept communication open.

This is something I deeply appreciate from both my parents. I can barely articulate the impact that this has had on me.

Both my parents would tell you, that of their children, the eldest being my 25 year old brother, Marc, and myself, the 2o year old baby of the family, that growing up, I was the questioner.

This is not to the fault of my brother, I suppose he asked less questions because he understood better than I usually did, whereas I required constant explanation, reasoning, and debate before I would hold to any new idea.

I was never one to immediately believe or “buy into” something that was told or taught to me. I was the child who needed to be sat down separately talk through what I did not fully grasp. Where I see more and more parents who get agitated or angry with children who share in my personality of curiosity and skepticism, my parents were always tender, slow to explain, and thoughtful as they heard me out from my position and talked through things with me.

There are many disagreements that we have shared through out the years, and many we still have. However, neither of us ever wrote each other off because of them. It’s because of the openness and willing to discuss and communicate ideas that our relationship is as strong as it is today.

Regardless of differences, my mother has always been my mother, and I have always been her son. Everything else is secondary. I can thank my mom for all three things in this list, and a host of other things, but the value she placed on our relationship above everything else we did and experienced is what I appreciate most.

Thank you Mom, and Happy Mother’s Day!

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