This first week of May is choc full of “special days”. In this one week, we have – Star Wars Day (ahem, only because of my son do I know that), Teacher Appreciation Day, Cinco de Mayo, and at the end of it all, Mother’s Day. So, pretty much, it is a week anyone can find something to celebrate.
For all the writers, bloggers and insightful Facebook posters – it is a week full of inspiration. There are tons of articles, blog posts, and lists being passed around social media to commemorate one of these special days. I’m sure you will (or have) seen titles such as these floating around this week – “10 Things You Should Know About a Teacher”, “Best Kept Secret Recipe for your Cinco de Mayo Celebration” and, I’m sure, there is even a “Why Star Wars is ‘Galactically’ Better Than Star Trek”.
There is absolutely nothing I can write that has not already been written about any of the aforementioned. But, even so, there is still something I want to say. I cannot write about goats, vacations, or ornery little children without also writing about a certain person. A person who, for me, gets to be celebrated twice this week.
My mom. She is my mother and she was also my teacher. She is someone who I would like to celebrate in this post.
Let’s start with her, as a mom.
5 Things You Should Know About My Mom:
1. Her main priority as a mother was to raise children who – loved God, had a relationship with him and always sought after His heart.
Did she do this perfectly? No one is perfect. Did she make mistakes? Everyone makes mistakes. Did she ever let her mistakes and imperfections stop her from pointing her children to Jesus? Never. Did her priorities change once we became adults? Not for a minute.
2. Her children were never the most important thing in her life.
God was first. It was abundantly clear that my dad, her husband, was second. Then came us children. I am so thankful for that example. Her love for us children was strong, not a doubt, but she knew how to keep the order straight…the way it is supposed to be.
3. Books were her “thing”.
I think I obtained my love for reading from her. I can remember if she wasn’t outside working or taking care of a wayward child, she most likely was enjoying a book. It was what she did for her down time.
3. She never wanted to be my best friend.
I know, it sounds harsh, right? Let me tell you, that is one of the best things my mom could have ever done for me (and my siblings). Too many kids/teenagers have parents who are their best friend. I am thankful I had a mom. She knew it was her job to raise us children, to discipline us, to lead us and guide us…even when she knew that at times being mom and making mom decisions would make her children/teenagers angry and frustrated with her. The encouragement I get from seeing her fulfill her role as a mom, is seeing the special and unique relationship she has now with me and my siblings as adults.
4. She taught me how to be a responsible person and steered me away from a life of entitlement.
By the time I was 9 years old, I was already helping out with the laundry, helping with the dishes and “helping” make dinner. She taught me how to do things for myself. I learned a strong work ethic by always making sure to do things right, the first time…otherwise I would be doing it over and over again. I learned to appreciate the big and little things in life because I understood the work and effort that went behind obtaining them.
5. She did not have time for pity parties.
And so, in turn, neither did we. It used to really just goad me when she saw the “poor me” attitude coming. She would ask me what was wrong…which was usually followed by “nothing”, which of course was followed by her telling me if nothing was wrong, then I needed to stop acting like something was. She was also smart enough to say, that if something was wrong…then I needed to – 1. Give it to God. 2. Ask if there was something I could do to change it? 3. If yes, then do it. If no, then refer back to #1. 4. ALWAYS, she reminded me that she was there to listen…even if she couldn’t help, she could listen.
Now for the second half of this post….
5 Things You Should Know About My Mom as a Teacher:
1. The odds were not “ever in her favor”.
Most people would have told her that she was not qualified enough to homeschool her children. I mean, she was born in Guatemala and moved to the states when she was a young girl. Although she did graduate from high school and attend some college, she never graduated from college. She was homeschooling when it was still a “newer” idea and it was definitely not the “trendy and hip” thing to do. The resources, at the time, were very limited.
But, she persevered. Today, 2 out of her 4 children have graduated from college and the other 2 are well on their way to receiving their college degrees. I hope she rejoices in each accomplishment of her children. She played a huge role in helping each of us become who we are today.
2. As a teacher, she encouraged each of us in our areas of interest.
She always encouraged us to pursue what we enjoyed. For me, I loved how she always gave me time for leisure reading and writing. She never took what I loved and turned it into “work”. She would buy me journals to write in, she would find books that interested me, she applauded my written work, she read my poems and stories with enthusiasm, she would let me write, even when it was random reports on things that had nothing to do with what we were learning in school. She let me believe that if I wanted to grow up and be a well-loved author, I could.
3. She gave me experiences that went beyond pencil and paper.
From entering me to compete in our little county fairs with my own crafts and baked goods, to taking me to someone that would teach me how to make a stained-glass window, to driving me 30 minutes into town every Wednesday so I could volunteer at the local nursing home. She did what she could to provide me with experiences that would grow me and challenge me.
4. She made the value of education very clear.
An education – It wasn’t something you just do because you have to, it is important. It is a blessing. It is something to never take for granted.
5. She modeled that learning never stops.
This is definitely one of the best things she accomplished as a teacher. We were never to feel as though “we arrived”, in any subject. There is always something we can learn. The continuance of learning is important – to our society, to our community, to our family and to ourselves.
Well, there it is folks. My post for teacher appreciation and Mother’s Day. I wrote it because I do have someone special to celebrate as a teacher and as a mother.
I hope there is someone in your life you want to celebrate too. Who is it that you want to celebrate? I hope you take the time out this week to celebrate that special someone in your life. Did you have a special teacher who made an impact on you? Is there something about your mom that just “separates her from all others”? Whoever it is you are thinking of…celebrate.