I really feel like I won the lottery when it comes to my mom. She is the B.E.S.T. I always knew I had a good mom growing up but when I got a little older and more mature, I completely realized she was awesome. Growing up on a farm in MN, we had no extra money. And yet we never felt poor which is quite a feat raising 3 teenage girls. I still remember Friday nights sitting with a big bowl of melted marshmallows and popcorn with my mom and watching The Love Boat and then Fantasy Island. It did not get any better than that!
A few years ago, I was on a flight and I really thought this was the end of the line for me. The plane was dropping and shaking. Even the flight attendants looked scared – which is a really bad sign and they need to work on that! So I closed my eyes and tried to think of a happy thought of each member of my family. I had two memories about my mom. The first one was when I was maybe a senior in high school. I was sad (and probably TOTALLY hormonal and TOTALLY over-dramatic) because some of my friends were giving me a hard time. I was telling my mom this and then I started to cry about this and that. Soon, we were in the car, just the two of us, heading to the mall, an hour away to buy a dress for the party I had been invited to but didn’t want to go because I did not have a dress. Looking back on that, I bet my mom was wondering how the heck she was going to pay for that dress. The other memory that came to my mind was as a little kid making a fort and my mom bringing us “coffee” which really was coke in a coffee cup. I totally remember her blowing on our cups and then handing it to us.
My mom was with me after every baby I had (4). With each baby, I always suffered from postpartum for about a month. My mom was there with each one, until I started feeling like myself again. She was truly a lifesaver. I remember telling her after baby #2 that I just want to get in the car by MYSELF and drive away FOREVER. She never said “Oh Kinzie, that is a crazy, weird, psycho, nutzo, wacko, thought” but instead just gave me a hug and told me “it WILL get better.”
My mom also jumped in the good ol’ van with me and the 4 kids to make the drive from MN to CA. Now that was a scary commitment on my mom’s part! The kids were 1, 4, 6, and 8. We had no idea how it would go but it was a BLAST. Really, we never got mad or irritated with each other. It is now a super memory for me and my kids. The kids still talk about how Grandma taught them how to shoot spit balls in the hotel room. Before we checked out, I had to wipe balls of spit off the ceiling, mirrors, pictures, and window.
Mom was up for anything on that trip and I never have a plan. Sometimes that is good and sometimes bad. I wanted to see Mt. Rushmore, which is about 5 hours out of our way. Mom was game. So we arrived at Mt. Rushmore and got out of the car. HUGE thunderstorm with fork lightning. We jumped out, took a quick picture, screamed back to the van and away we went.
My mom is one great lady! I am SO lucky to have her in my life AND my children’s life.