Today I’m offering some of the blooms from Everything That Makes You Mom: A Bouquet of Memories.
Chapter 1. Mom in the Home
The time I got so mad that I announced I was running away from home, she asked me to pause long enough that she could note what I was wearing, so she would know how to describe me to the police when she filed a missing persons report. I made it three houses away before my resolve melted, but went all the way around the block just to save face.
- Did your mom ever deal with a fit by pretending to take you seriously?
- How has she made it hard to stay mad?
- Has she blessed your independence in ways that make you want to come home?
Chapter 2. Mom in the World
Mom didn’t drive, so during the years when Dad worked on Sundays, she got us up and fed and ready to be picked up by the church van, where we rode with an assorted mix of people whom we might not have encountered otherwise, but with whom we felt some kinship, I think, simply because of our shared journey to a common destination.
- What was your mom’s role in your Sunday morning routines?
- What obstacles of transportation has your mother overcome?
- How, in word or deed, did she teach you to respect and value all kinds of people?
Chapter 3. Virtuous Mom
For boo-boos, there was Mercurochrome, and a Band-Aid, and a kiss. For an upset tummy, there was ginger ale with Ritz crackers, and a sickbed made up on the couch. For fever, there was the test kiss on the forehead, and baby Bayer, and a cool rag. For sunburn or heat rash, there was calamine lotion, and a clean bedsheet on Dad’s recliner. For the persistent cough in the middle of the night, there was a bite of buttered bread, crusts off. For rainy-day blues, there was tomato soup with pepper and a pat of butter on top. For hurts too deep to name, there was simply the quiet abiding, with a hug, as long as need be.
- What were your mom’s home remedies?
- Describe her healing properties. How accurate were her diagnostic skills?
- Is there anything expired or recalled in her medicine cabinet?
Chapter 4. Playful Mom
We campers would have seen her smiling face dishing up food as we went through the church camp cafeteria line, but the other cooks saw another side of her, like the morning she led them in turning the leftover pancakes into Frisbees and trying to stick them to the walls.
- Has your mother ever turned volunteer work into play?
- When did you first see a mirthful side to her, or a side that surprised you somehow?
- Has she participated in or instigated a food fight at home?
Chapter 5. Educational Mom
When we went to the museum and saw a man lingering near the entrance, I thought he was waiting for someone, but after we rounded a corner, Mom said he was waiting until we passed to see whether there was anything left in that pop can on the ledge. I peeked. She was right; he was draining it. It’s hard to say which was more remarkable: her powers of observation (I hadn’t even noticed the pop can), or her lack of moral judgment about his action.
- What did your mother notice about people?
- How did one of her predictions come true?
- Describe a time your mom was respectful of someone you were ready to be judgmental about.