Without mothers, the world as we know it would cease. There wouldn’t be any people…or animals either for that matter. If you’re here, someone went through some pain and discomfort to deliver you here. If you’re really fortunate, you had a mother similar to mine…someone to love and nurture you, someone to make sure you ate plenty of veggies, someone to make sure you learned your manners.
Naturally many of my thoughts have been of my own sweet mama. I could wax poetic about how beautiful, witty, accomplished, and loving she was, and it’d all be true. What I’m thinking about today, however, is that she gave each of her children the most important thing a mother can give to a child: the feeling that all were deeply loved and cherished.
Yes, I know that David thinks he was always the favorite, but I know otherwise. I was her favorite, Yes, I must have been. After all, I was the oldest, her firstborn, the baby that she first saw and fell in love with at the young age of 19. I was barely over six pounds, but cute, very cute. I loved reading what she wrote about me in my baby book. She had started writing the new words I’d come up with each day, and then one day she wrote, “Jane says so many new words that I can’t write them all.” Gotta love that!
When I was 2, my brother Mike came along, a darling little red-cheeked boy who was always into some sort of mischief. We were partners in crime and loved playing outside in the mud and trees and forts (that we built). Hmmm. Now that I think of it. Maybe he was her favorite. After all, he was (still is) a lot more fun that I am. I’m constantly surprised and amused by the things he says. He loves to tell jokes, something that he and my mother had in common.
When I was 4, my sister Ann was born. She was the BEST baby and child of all three (and later four) of us. Smart and well-behaved, she said she learned to be good from watching the consequences of our disobedient behavior. Hold on. Now I see clearly that Ann was my mother’s favorite. And why not? She was so good that she only got one spanking in her entire life and that was for “borrowing” a bicycle that my friend Jeanita had parked in the yard. Ah yes, now I see more clearly. Ann must have been my mother’s favorite child.
When I was 7, Prince David arrived. He was an adorable child…so cute. One of my favorite photos is of him propped up on the couch leaning into the side of it to keep from falling over. He looked like a chubby baby doll. While the rest of us were in school, he got to pal around with Mama, and they became best buds. Once when a friend of my mother’s asked him what he’d been up to, little David Brian said, “Mama’s been dwaggin’ me around everywhere.” Hilarious, huh? My mother must’ve thought so because she repeated the story often. Adorable little David. Maybe he was her favorite after all.
But no, the truth is that we were all her favorite children. While I’m positive that we exasperated, disappointed, annoyed, and exhausted her at times, she loved us unconditionally. And when the grandchildren came along, she loved them too. Her oldest and youngest granddaughters were with her when she died, and I like thinking that she knew it and that it pleased her.
Of all the sweet things my mother ever said to me, here’s the best, something she wrote in a Mother’s Day card 12 or 13 years ago: “Carrie, Elizabeth, and Paul are blessed to have you as their mother.” Thanks Mama. I needed that. And thanks (from your favorite child) for the love, guidance, and wonderful example. I miss you!