I Love My Ma

I first introduced my mom by describing how she kept me in line with the look of death. In honor of Mother’s Day, it seems only fair to show the wonderful, not at all scary side of her that I see most often.

Ma and Baby Tammy
Ma and baby me, 40+ years ago. How was I ever so tiny?!?!?

I feel very fortunate that my mom stayed home with me until after I was in school. I loved having all that alone time with her.

In those early years, I was constantly amazed by her abilities. Even now that I know that the eyes in the back of her head were aided by the reflections off kitchen appliances, I still am amazed by her. Growing up, whenever she did something seemingly impossible to my young mind, I’d ask where she learned how to do it. Her answer was always the same, “Mommy School!” It reminds me of a technique she taught me when I was older: If you say something with enough conviction, people will believe it.

Ma taught me how to break cleaning down into small increments. We did not stay on the couch during commercials. We discovered that we could pick up and put away 25 items each break. To this day it is hard for me to sit still during the commercials, and I still put things away in batches of 25.

I was not a healthy little girl. We spent a lot of time in the doctor’s office. In order to help me not freak out, she would tell me stories about what the doctor was going to do. She told me that when he looked down my throat, he was checking on the health of the hippo that lived in my tummy. I looked at her blankly. She said, “I know you’ve heard it rumbling down there when you are hungry.” My eyes lit up, and in the doctor’s appointment I opened up wide without a fight, albeit with giggles.

She always told me that I had to take a nap when I was sick because the garbage men that live in my body only came out when I was asleep. They drove all around my body and picked up the yucky stuff and took it away. I had to drink lots of water because that is what fueled the trash trucks. In high school I learned that her description of what was required to get better was actually the perfect germ theory description for a 4 year old! Yup, I was 15 and amazed at how smart my mom was!

It has been ages since we have lived in the same city (23 as a matter of fact!). Unfortunately that means I don’t get to see her as much as I would like. This picture, taken roughly 40 years after the one above, was during her recent trip out.

Tammy and Ma on a sunny day

It was great seeing you again, Ma. I love you.

8 thoughts on “I Love My Ma”

  1. Good tactics that Beth used. Parents have to be imaginative in their explanations. The truth doesn’t make sense to a young mind. I always sprinkled such explanations with humor and then it didn’t seem like a sinister lie. i copied your post to share with my 2 kids since they too are parents struggling with “raisin’ ’em up right!”

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  2. Ah – so sweet. You were the cutest little baby! And your mother then looks a lot like you now. Funny how that happens. Moms are so wise. Daughters are so dear. So nice that you stay close – it’s the reward for having daughters.

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    1. I still have a problem with the fact that I was ever that small! I guess that is because I never had kids.

      Growing up, when my mom got exasperated at me, she would say, “Go tell your real mom!” It was always funny because we look so much alike.

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