mother: looking glass

You know the nursery rhyme “What are little girls made of—sugar and spice and everything nice?” Well, that was not me. I was more like the little girl who “when good was very good but when she was bad, was horrid.” Except that I was hardly ever good.

My earliest memory is the loss of some precious candy. I was given a piece of candy, but I wanted two. My mother insisted that it was one or nothing at all and that she was going to“count to three.” When she got to three and I had not responded, she simply popped the candy in her mouth and walked away. There was no reasoning, no second chance, no saving the candy for later. Incidents like that taught me to make the most of a situation. . . and to let go when necessary and persevere at other times.

In my stubborn spirit, my mother saw potential. So she taught me to channel my headstrong spirit in positive directions. When I wanted to learn to juggle, skip rope or cook, she drew out that same energy and made me persevere and never give up.

More than nurturing me, my mother was my best friend. She has always been there for me, kept my secrets, shared my giggles. When I discovered that boys had some worth after all, I remember pointing potential guys to her.

And in my best friend, I met God. Growing up, I would often hear my mother talking out loud to no one in particular. I soon learned she was talking to God. She’d say stuff like “Now you’ve got to see it from my point of view” or “If you think I can do one more thing today, you’ve just got to show me how.” Or when she messed up she’d say “Now you think that’s really funny” or “I’m not going to sop bugging you until you show me how this makes sense.” She did a lot of praying on her knees. But she did more just talk to Him as if He were standing right next to her.

Yes, my mother taught me a lot of things but most important of all, through her I felt the first warm touch of God’s Love. Yes I was a horrid little girl, but thanks to my mom and her partnership with God, I think I turned out pretty good after all.

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