My Mom: The Boss, The Best


MAY 2021


We celebrate Mother’s Day this month. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, and those who take on the tasks of a mom, out there.

My own mother passed away several years ago, but she was there from my birth until my forties. I still think of her daily and miss her always. She was the best mom, and a perfect match for me.

Our mom didn’t believe in spanking. We three kids were never spanked. However, she was an absolute master of “the talk.” We kids have often looked back at Mama’s parenting skills and are still impressed by her ability to keep all of us in line by simply using her words.

I broke a window once when I young and was sent to my bedroom for most of the day, and only allowed to return to civilization after I could sincerely apologize for what I had done, as well as understood what a financial burden I had caused. Well, not those words exactly—something along the lines of “Do you know how much that window is going to cost and what we’re going to have to do without because of it?” She was good. This happened during a time when it was just Mama and us three kids. A couple of years later, Mama remarried, but always remained the “boss” of us kids.

When I was a teenager, I broke curfew by more than an hour and was grounded for two weeks. That punishment was lifted two days later, when Mama felt sorry for me. I had a couple of friends over, and instead of doing fun teen stuff, we sat on the porch playing Uno. Actually, playing Uno on the porch was kind of “fun teen stuff” but before she changed her mind, we all piled into my car to go to the mall.

So that’s about as hairy as our mother-daughter relationship got. She was a gem.

There were so many good times, though. Like many little girls, I loved dolls. Baby dolls, Barbie dolls, dolls with layettes, dolls with long hair I could style…I remember one Christmas when money was tight, I was hoping for an Easy Bake Oven, along with a new dolly. Mama, or rather “Santa,” brought me a Madame Alexander doll (I have no idea how Mama managed that one, though I suspect a rather generous aunt helped), but instead of an Easy Bake Oven, Mama bought a boxed cake mix—marble cake, to be exact—and spent one winter afternoon teaching me how to read basic baking directions, and I baked my first cake. While it might not have been the most delicious cake I’ve ever eaten, it was the most memorable. I felt so proud. I felt so loved.

I’ll never forget the times she would wake me—on a school day—and ask me “Do you have any tests today?” Oh boy, that meant good times were ahead! These were very rare, but it usually meant a shopping excursion was on the horizon. This was in the 1970s, when I guess parents could be a tiny bit lax with their kids’ school days (or maybe it was just Mama). Of course, it helped to maintain good grades, not miss any tests, and fake a little cough on your return to school the next day.

In summary, Mama always made me feel special, and made me feel loved. She was the same with my brothers, and they had their own experiences, but I like to think our mother-daughter relationship was super-extra-special…because that’s how Mama made me feel.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama!

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Elle & Company