Soft Place to Land

Here is a picture of my mom holding Kai during Christmas of this year

My mom has been one of our biggest supporters of our children

Being a mother of two boys I now have a greater appreciation for my mom, Sandy, who had 4 kids in 3.5 years. Let me describe my mom to you all, she is non-traditional, funny, outrageous, and irreverent. She loves to laugh. She is also very loyal and kind and loving beyond belief.

I will start out with the fun side of my mom. She is such a good story teller that she could go on the road with her life stories and have a sellout crowd every night. She has had very interesting lives and I mean like 9 lives like a cat. She will say outrageous things at time and I will look over to the person she is talking with and they are thoroughly engaged because she is as authentic as they come. You have just got to love her! Usually when people are great story tellers they have loud and larger than life personalities, but my mom doesn’t, which makes her unique. If she is telling you something you know it is the truth, I call her a “truth sayer”. Anyway, she is fun, fun, fun!

Then there is the other side of my mom that loves her kids so very unconditionally! I can honestly say that she has never favored any of us kids. We all feel loved by her. My memories of my mom are coming in from school and sitting on the countertop, while she is cooking dinner and she would listen to my drama of what happened with me and my girlfriends. She has always been a fantastic listener. Several events stand out in my mind where my mom gave me wonderful advice as a child or made a lasting impression on me. The first was when a boy wanted to kiss me and I was in elementary school. I told him that I had to go home and ask my mom. She told me that this was my body and nobody else could make choices about it except me. The next day I told my love interest that my mom said I don’t have to kiss anybody I don’t want to and I didn’t want to kiss him. I felt empowered by her words of wisdom. Another time, I was voted out of the” in group” of girls that I was hanging with because I had gossiped about one of the girls and it had gotten back to her. And all the girls had turned on me…I’m sure I deserved it because I probably talked about all of them and they figured it out. Anyway, I was upset and when I told my mom, I thought she would scold me. Instead, she told me it was something she still struggled with and she was 37 years old. She told me that not gossiping is a hard lesson to learn and I would probably end up doing it again because it is human nature to talk about others. Empathy!!! That was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. There was one experience that happened in my childhood with my mom that pre-determined that I would be a stay at home mom for my kids one day. I was about 11 years old, and I had an altercation on the school bus on the way home. A girl repeatedly hit me with a baton and I was trying to take the baton away from the girl so she would stop hitting me. The school bus driver was a good friend of my mom’s and she immediately stopped the bus and made ME sit up front. She didn’t care about justice or who the hitter was versus the person getting hit. She lectured me all the way home about how disappointed my mom would be in me. The other little girl came from a dirt poor family that lived without electricity and water in the home and they had a really hard life. At that point, I didn’t care if the girl was from Mars, all I knew was I was physically and emotionally upset and was sobbing. I couldn’t wait until I got home because my mom always made everything better. She was always home and she was my soft place to land. But, when I got home that day, my mom wasn’t there…I was devastated… That was the day that I appreciated all the times that my mom was home and decided that if I ever had kids, that I would be a stay at home mom. Even kids have bad days and they need their mom to be there after the harsh world has kicked them around a bit. Anyway, my mom got home 5 minutes later and gave me the unconditional love and acceptance that I needed.

Another thing that stands out to me about my mom from other moms of that generation is that my mom hugged and kissed us daily. We openly showed affection within our family, including my parents to one another. When I look back at my friends growing up, I don’t think any of them had that type of home environment where they were told by at least one parent that they were loved and then hugged and kissed on top of it. I always knew that my mom loved me and that alone got me through some dark days in my childhood.

My mom still is the person I turn to when I need a sympathetic ear or great advice. She could give Dr. Phil a run for his money with her straight talk, great listening, yet empathetic personality. Thank you for being a wonderful friend, role model, and most of all thank you for being that soft place for me to land. I love you very much and Happy Mother’s Day!

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