I spent a lot of time thinking about what to get Mom for Mother’s Day. The problem is this: She is not what Society would consider a typical Mom. First of all, it’s difficult to have flowers or something delivered to her, because my parents live on 50 acres, and have a code-locked gate. Flowers would probably just sit there on the fence for three days until Mom went into town to get something.
Second of all, she is not the girly type. I can’t buy her things like makeup, or purses, or fancy watches. She would like it of course, but those things just don’t scream out to me about her when I see them. When I think of my mom, I think of all the great childhood memories she has helped us create. Like our yearly hiking and camping trips we took all over the West.
Letting us help in the yard…
…and even letting me keep a tiny garter snake that we found in the yard as a pet when I was three years old. (Granted, I didn’t know snakes could climb, so it was only a pet for a few hours before it climbed up the stick I put in its new home – it was a very authentic habitat – and he was gone…in the house).
I was born to be a biologist.
Mom was always so crafty too. (And still is!) She was a spinner and weaver, she would plan awesome birthday parties for us, and create great Halloween costumes, and now she has gotten into quilting.
She made an island out of veggie dip, carrots, and celery, and the ship was made of chocolate ice cream!
You wouldn’t know it by looking at me now, but I used to love anything princess, and wore dresses A LOT.
So, someone (A parent of a girl who was invited to my birthday) decided to give me talcum powder as a birthday present. Still not sure why she thought that was a gift either. But what did she think a 4-year old did with talcum powder?!
She encouraged us to pursue our interests – when I found a dead cow on our land (where my parents now live) she and my Grandma encouraged and helped me collect every bone I could find, clean them, and do who-knows-what with them.
When I was nine, we went up to Arkansas to visit some old family friends when they needed to do a C-section on a cow. So I got to help!
I remember when Mom told me they were outside with a vet – my eyes lit up, and I wanted to go watch so bad! So it turned out that we all watched and helped when we could, and my mom gave me the job of cleaning the calf, and sticking my fingers in his nose to make him snort out all the mucous so he could breathe. BEST. JOB. EVER.
There was also my Science Fair project of taking apart owl pellets to see what kind of bones were inside!
Somehow Mom always found great learning experiences for us too. She worked at The George Ranch Historical Park for years, and my sister and I would volunteer. Some of the guys that worked there had trapped some feral hogs on the river, and decided to use them at the George Ranch (very authentic, since that’s how we got the feral hogs in the first place!) But the pigs were just a little too young when they were caught, so Mom volunteered to bottle raise one of them!
My parents were also members of the Fort Bend Archaeological Society and the Rock Art Foundation. With these two memberships, we were all able to learn proper techniques used during archaeological digs, as well as history of different areas. As a child, I remember carefully scraping away layers of dirt, and finding things that had been buried for decades. It was a great experience for me, and I would never have had that chance if it weren’t for my Mom and Dad!
Mom was always the parent that my friends liked, because she pretty much let us do whatever we wanted, and because of the freedom she gave us, we were pretty good kids. I’m convinced of that! We had no reason to rebel against our parents, because there was wasn’t much that they didn’t let us do! Just like when I wanted to dye my hair. Mom always said, “it’s your hair, and it will grow back.”
Because of my mom’s many, many interests, she has over time learned a little bit about A LOT OF STUFF. She’s not an expert on any one thing, but she knows about of lot of things, so that makes up for it. And because of her constant craving for knowledge, she raised us to always want to learn about new things, along with being respectful of other cultures, loving animals, loving books, and loving the outdoors.
Without my mom, I wouldn’t be the girl I am today, and I would definitely not have had a wildhood.
Thanks, Mom. I love you.