Sarah: Meghan and I have learned a LOT from our momma. Growing up, she taught us to be self-sufficient in life so that we could cook, clean, do our own laundry, and balance our checkbook (even though I generally refused to do it). I guess I thought there were times that she was tough, but when I moved to college and lived on my own for the first time I realized how lucky I truly was!!
Meghan: Yes! Knowing to separate my whites and maroons so that I didn’t end up with a bunch of pinks was a big deal as a college freshman at A&M.
But in all seriousness, our mom deserves major accolades for dealing with Sarah and me, especially during our lovely teen years. It’s possible we weren’t the worst, but we definitely weren’t the best. I’m just glad I have boys and don’t have to potentially get payback in the form of raising a teenage Meghan.
One of the ways our mom made a huge impact on my life is her being a teacher. I always LOVED helping her in her classroom, and I can remember dressing up as a teacher for career day in kindergarten. I guess it stuck, or at least I wasn’t good at anything else, because fast-forward to now, and I’m a teacher (although currently staying home) and am so thankful for the opportunities I had to learn the ropes as I grew up and throughout my teacher training. But now I TOTALLY understand why she was always so eager to let me decorate her classroom at the beginning of every year. I need one of my kids to hurry up and be old enough to do it for me.
Sarah: Agreed – dealing with 2 teenaged girls like us should qualify her for sainthood!
It may seem silly now, but one of the things I know our mom taught us that many people may have missed out on is canning our own foods. I learned not just to cook meals, but to bake (my favorite!) and make homemade pickles, jellies, and jams. It seemed like the HARDEST THING IN THE WORLD as a child, but Meghan and I actually CHOSE to can our own items a year or so ago and it was actually fun! I guess this just shows that she has some pretty cool skills and tricks up her sleeve, and she was awesome enough to want to pass them down to us.
HOWEVER – one of those skills I never took to was sewing. She tried to teach me to cross-stitch once, and even as a young child I had zero tolerance for it. I remember years later, in high school, finding the remains of a teddy bear cross stitching project thrown in the back corner of my closet, where I’d banished it when I lost my cool!!
Meghan: If Sarah has zero tolerance for sewing, I have negative eleventy billion. I beyond suck at it, and I have no patience for skills that I have no hope of improving on. It’s one of my more pleasant qualities.
One thing I NEVER understood when we were growing up was how Momma would get Sarah and me mixed up all the time. She was called Meghan and I was called Sarah. Or Maxine, the cat, or Aggie, the dog, or Joe, our dad. We were always like, “There are only two of us! How can that be so hard?!” Even until just a couple of years ago, Sarah and I gave Momma the hardest time over that. But I must beg forgiveness now and admit that it wasn’t Momma’s fault at all. It’s all our fault. That’s what kids do to you. They destroy your brain to the point that you can’t even recall the names you meticulously chose for them as you lugged them around in your body for 9 months. I’m sorry, Momma.
Sarah: Yeah, I got pretty used to responding to the calls of “SarahMeghanJoeWhoeverYouAreComeHere” growing up, and now – even without having kids of my own – I feel more understanding about the stress that we were for her to deal with!!
Like you said earlier, Meghan, one of mom’s biggest influences on me was through education, but more in the way she taught me to always work my hardest and helped me through stressful times. She was my first “study buddy” in school, and when I took Anatomy and Physiology in high school and it was the most insanely hard class I’d ever taken to that point, she would stay up to help review with me before tests. She would always be there to proofread papers (even to this day!) due to her expertise as a middle school teacher, and she and dad had the motto that’s always kept me pushing myself in my academic life. No matter how well or how badly something was going for me, they would say, “As long as you did your best, that’s all that we can ask of you”. This has kept me motivated to never half-ass anything, because I know that truly she (and dad) have worked their entire lives to give us the best possible opportunities in life, and I owe to it her to always try my hardest!
Meghan: ^^TRUTH. I’ve found myself telling my sons the same thing already about doing their best, and I’m so thankful they drilled that into us so much that it comes naturally as a parenting philosophy for me, too.
As awesome as our mom is, we wouldn’t be giving the whole picture without talking about her forgetfulness. Or misplacingness maybe is more like it. Keys, phone, COFFEE CUP. My whole life, her coffee cups have hidden from her. Once again, I think it’s a case of being a mom and having too much on her mind already to be able to recall something as menial as the location of a beverage, but still, I feel like she has spent more time looking for coffee cups and then having to reheat the coffee than actually drinking the coffee.
I recently found one of mom’s infamous MIA coffee cups in a microwave that hadn’t been used in over a month. So, in other words, she had reheated her coffee, forgotten it was in the microwave, and left the house with the coffee waiting for her all alone. When I found it, I learned that over time, coffee turns rather gelatinous and grows pretty fur.
You can pretend those are marshmallows.
I definitely remember the morning ritual of getting dressed, eating breakfast, and then searching the closets, freezer, etc for momma’s coffee cup growing up.
Mom taught us life skills, supported our education, drove us endlessly to dance/sports/cheer/whatever practices/games/competitions/meets, set an example of morality and empathy in dealing with others, and was a true example of dedication and love for me growing up through to this day.
WE LOVE YOU, MOMMA!!