I was lucky to have had a childhood filled with love. All families are crazy. That’s what makes them family. But I can honestly say that throughout my entire childhood my mom put her family above everything else, crazy and all.
When I became a mom I had never really been around a baby before, at least not enough to know what it would be like to raise one. I should have been terrified. But I wasn’t. I felt prepared. I felt like a pro. And that is ONLY because I had the best teacher in the world.
Without realizing it, I’d just graduated from Vicki’s Mom School. Looking back, here’s what I learned:
LAUGH (cuz she’s going to)
Always laugh. Laugh at yourself, laugh with your kids, watch funny movies, find the fun and funny in the tough situations. Growing up, if I was acting a fool and tripped, first she made sure I was ok then she laughed (ok, there may have been a time or two that the order was switched). And I laughed. We were too busy laughing to be embarrassed.
JUST TRY (then try again)
I wasn’t the best at anything growing up. I wasn’t a star athlete or the most popular. I failed at some things that I really wanted to excel at. There were times I studied so much I barely slept and still didn’t do well on a test. But, no matter what, my mom always told me that as long as I did MY best I succeeded. Work harder to do better next time. When I didn’t make the cheerleading squad in the 7th grade, she took me to gymnastics and cheer camp. And I realize now that she lived that philosophy as a mom. She always did her best and every decision she made and action she took as a mom was out of love for us.
ALWAYS LOOK YOUR BEST (and WASH YOUR HAIR!)
I used to get so AGGRAVATED when she would tell me to go fix my hair or iron my clothes or put on makeup. But it only takes one bad picture to see what she meant. It was her way of saying “always have on clean underwear”.
BE YOURSELF (just don’t get tattoos)
I can’t tell you how often I was sent to the office in high school for my choice of clothing. I wasn’t showin’ my hoo-ha or anything (I don’t think). But I pushed the limits. And she let me. My mom let me express myself. Piercings, she didn’t bat an eye. Crazy hair colors, she didn’t care. Buuuuut I learned that she isn’t a fan of my many tats. Limit. Found. She still loves me, though.
DON’T MAKE DUMB CHOICES
But if I did (and I have), she’d still love me.
MOM’S GOT YOUR BACK
She didn’t expect us to be treated better than anyone else but she sure as HELL wasn’t going to allow us to be treated worse. If injustice was afoot, Vicki was on it. A few teachers will probably never forget her. Beverly Goldberg would have been her BFF, for sure.
She was a single mom. She worked fulltime. She had 2 kids who were involved in sports and activities. My mom was there for us 100% of the time. We weren’t raised by baby sitters or grandparents or the chain-smoking neighbor with rollers in her hair. I don’t know how she did it. But I am so, so grateful.