BY MARY ELLEN CARLSON, HERITAGE HOUSE CHILDCARE & LEARNING CENTER
“A Mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” –Tenneva Jordan
Most all of us have a woman in our life that is our mom or that we think of as a mother figure. I am very fortunate to have a mom that has been a mentor and now a true friend. She is as much fun as my best girlfriends! We are a generation apart but as we age the gap seems to become so minute I can hardly put my finger on it.
“Sometimes the laughter in mothering is the recognition of the ironies and absurdities. Sometimes, though, it’s just pure, unthinking delight.” - Barbara Schapiro
We all know that moms that find joy in the mothering process usually have a wonderful sense of humor. I think probably one of the biggest things I have observed from my mom is how she can find laughter in many situations. My mom tells the story of when the “mommy thing” was just too overwhelming for her. Apparently, her three little cherubs at the time had just gotten the best of her and she had been taken to her limit. She tells of the attack on my dad as he walked in from work that afternoon when upon seeing his face she simply said, “I am leaving for awhile, the kids are all yours!” She then proceeded to the movie theater in the small town and sat down with an exasperated sigh and started watching a film. Of course, after a couple hours she returned with a refreshed spirit ready to tackle the laborious and joyful job of raising toddlers!
My Grandma Brown also comes to mind when I think of a woman in my life that must have had a gigantic amount of humor in her soul. She raised four very rambunctious boys. If the stories that my dad and his brothers have shared over the decades even come close to the real events, then she certainly was a woman who realized the importance of humor to navigate through life.
“The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” –Jill Churchill
I love to observe moms just being moms. Our personalities play a huge role in what kind of mom we are. Sometimes we
are categorized as over protective and having to keep situations under control at all times. Other times we seem like the “cool” type, letting our children experience life on their own terms, even when it means a little “boo-boo” here and there. Of course, the secret many experts say is to find the fine balance between the two. It is not an easy task, but one most moms try to strive for.
“The people who make a difference are not the ones with the credentials, but the ones with the concern.” -Max Lucado
You can find all sorts of philosophers that talk about maternal instincts. I do believe it’s a truthful phenomenon. I know that on many occasions throughout my growing years, Mom knew the answer before she even asked the question. Women in the mothering role are very intuitive to the needs, moods, feelings and body language of those they mentor or care for. Statements such as, “She thinks with her heart,” “She has a gut feeling,” “She feels something is just not quite right,” etc. are all expressions we hear. News stories are in the media touting the instincts of a mother or mother figure saving the life of a child they just had a feeling about. To me it is the process of tuning into and paying detailed attention to those we care about and love.
“There is…nothing to suggest that mothering cannot be shared by several people.” -H. R. Schaffer
I can’t express enough gratitude to my mom, grandmas, aunts, and women mentors I have had the privilege to share my life with. I have watched many of these women raise their own children as well as hold a significant place in the lives of my children, my siblings, my cousins and myself. Consider yourself blessed many times over if you have the surrounding support of this attentive sisterhood.
“My mother was the making of me. She was so true and sure of me, I felt that I had someone to live for.” -Thomas Edison
All moms (women) have their scary, fun and breathtaking stories of rearing children. It is a distinctive quest and certainly not meant for the faint of heart! As we celebrate this Mother’s day, our hats go off to all the brave women of our past, present and future who take on this noteworthy role!
Her children rise up and bless her. –Proverbs 31:28 n
Mary Ellen Carlson has extensive experience in Elementary Education. Before assuming the duties as Director of Heritage House Childcare & Learning Center, she taught at Panama Central School, owned and operated her own home day care, and was the Project Coordinator of “Write Team,” a grant-funded project at the James Prendergast Library.
Mrs. Carlson earned her B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.S. in Curriculum Development/Elementary Education from SUNY Fredonia. She has also continued her education through training in sign language, child abuse prevention, and writing.