My mom's slippers in the photo should give you a glimpse into what my mom, Bunny, is like. She has never fit into the cookie-cutter mold of moms, which has suited her fine and made our life interesting. Those slippers of hers would've come in handy when we moved to Minnesota and she'd walk outside barefoot in the snow.
Mom thought everything was funny when I was growing up (no doubt fueled by the endless Erma Bombeck clippings plastered on our fridge.) She'd chase me around the house with my younger brother's wet diapers, telling me they'd soften my skin. She'd purposely send Amy, our slobbery bulldog, into the living room if I was sitting on the couch with a boyfriend, knowing full well Amy's gassy fumes would fuel any boy to leave the room within a minute of Amy's entrance.
She filled our home with music and laughter... and I had no idea every child wasn’t as lucky. Of course I thought her rules were constricting, her concern for my safety, overbearing (as their only daughter, my parents now agree they went overboard.) After graduation, on the day I turned eighteen, I moved out. My parents had given me a suitcase for my birthday—I thought they were happy with my decision. Years later, mom said she was crushed by my decision.
Once I moved out, I thought their influence on my life was over, my need for them, history. Oh, how clueless I was! If anything, I needed my mom even more as an adult. There have been times in my life I’d call my mom, crying so hard I couldn't talk. In-between my sobs, she'd ask how she could help me. And she did. Every single time.
Mom could lead Do-gooders Anonymous; she’s been a constant volunteer for years, always doing for others and asking for very little in return from her family. Nothing materialistic—just our time and respect. And she’s about the most down-to-earth person you’ll meet. Trusting, honest, and funny when she doesn’t mean to be.
Recently, I mentioned to my mom that my older brother, who is a genius (a constant surprise to me!) defied the statistics that babies who are nursed are smarter than bottle-fed babies. “Oh, I nursed Chris,” mom said.
“I thought you said you didn’t nurse us kids.”
“I just didn’t nurse you, Jill.”
Well, that explains why I’m not a genius.
My parents recently put their home up for sale. While my dad was out of state, some strange man knocked on their door, asking mom about their house. Even though they had it listed with a realtor, a sign clearly posted in their yard, my mom welcomed in this potential murderer-thief and showed him all around their home. I didn’t waste my breath scolding her for being too-trusting. It’s mom—that’s how she rolls.
Years ago, I worked in the loan department for a bank that got taken over by the government. In all the stressful chaos, our secretary/receptionist quit. So my extrovert mom volunteered to fill in until they could hire someone, thinking she could just visit with customers. During that time, they brought in a new bank president. One day he asked my mom to do some typing for him.
My mom informed him, “Oh, I don’t do typing!”
Clueless, he came to me. “What’s up with our receptionist? That lady told me she doesn’t do typing.”
Embarrassed, I told him that “that lady” was my mom, and to just give me the typing.
It wasn’t the first time my mom embarrassed me. It won’t be the last. I’m good with that—that’s how Momma Buns rolls.