We call her "Mama" pronounced, "Momma". I tried for years to get my sibs to spell mama momma but they wouldn't budge so I finally gave in and spell it incorrectly too. The only time we would EVER think of Mama as mother was on Mother's Day. We felt "mother" was a bit too formal for our 900 square feet of living space. She raised us five kids to be successful, healthy, and happy adults. She did this with my dad's help of course but the personality building, be kind to your neighbor, don't go starting fights lessons of growing up came from her. Daddy provided the financial portion and the strict live by 'em or die rules. I dearly love them both and without them I wouldn't be the quiet, yet somewhat mysterious adult I am today.
Mama was a storyteller. She had a great memory and told tales with lots of detail and intrigue. We knew everything about her life growing up and yet we begged her to tell us more. She made night time almost as exciting as getting to watch "Gunsmoke" all the way through. (Side note here: Daddy would make us turn Gunsmoke off if Miss Kitty's outfit was a little bit too low cut.)
Mama was a strict disciplinarian. Of course none of us took her too seriously in this department because we had all experienced Daddy's discipline, which was something to think about on dark and stormy nights. She made us mind but she did it in a way that never scared us....except when that little vein in her neck started bulging and her left eye would start to twitch. That was a sign we were about to get "the switch". The switch grew on the Weeping Willow tree in our backyard. It was aptly named because it did cause us some serious weeping. If we finally drove Mama to the breaking point she would tell us to get the switch. We had to go out and pick out the switch she would use to punish us. It hurt......oh man, did it hurt!!
Growing up was good. We had a lot of laughs. Mama liked to laugh and she excelled in practical jokes. We learned early on that "practical jokes" meant scaring the pee-waddle-n-do out of one child while Mama and the other four kids laughed manically. These jokes were always set up and performed while Daddy was at work. He didn't appreciate a good joke the way the rest of us did. My favorite was the one where she would rub Merle Norman light green face cream all over her face, wrap a white sheet around her and hide in a closet until one of us kids came along and opened the closet door. She was a hoot and the slight urine smell of our house was attributed to this particular joke.
Aside from these life lessons I can list several more things Mama taught us...first of all, she taught us about the Lord. We were just dumb enough and lazy enough that had it not been for her teaching and example we might have all grown up to be....oh, I don't know...democrats or something worse.
She also taught me:
1. Dogs belong outside...in somebody else's yard.
2. Cats belong in the history books. They should not be....period.
3. Bathe regularly. Nobody likes smelly boys.
4. Wear clean underwear when leaving the house....who knows?!
5. Don't fight.
6. If you do fight, whip 'em.
7. If they wear glasses give 'em time to remove their glasses before punching them in the nose.
8. If you're going to tell a story, make it a good one.
9. Don't smoke unless your kids are driving you crazy and you absolutely have to lock yourself in the bathroom and smoke.
10. Don't wear long hair unless you're a girl.
oh, and one more...
11. Plant lots of Weeping Willow trees.
The list could go on and on but you get the idea. We were raised by the best Mama ever created. We all love her deeply. We would tell her that to her face but it starts to lose its intent when you have to repeat it over and over...and then finally yell at the top of our lungs, "I SAID I LOVE YOU.....DADGUMIT!!" Mama doesn't hear too well nowadays.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MAMA. I LOVE YOU.....DADGUMIT!!!