The best mom in the whole world

Story by Sarah Clower

Illustration by Cliff Thomas

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, and with all the uncertainty facing our communities at the moment, I decided to ask friends, mothers, fathers, and children about some of their favorite memories they have about their mothers.

What are some great habits your mom had when you were a child that you feel have really benefited you in adult life?

For the kids: What are your mom’s good habits?

“My mom is the most complimentary person I have ever met. I think she instilled in my sister and me to always look for ways to uplift people and make them feel special.” – Sarah, 35

“My mom is always welcoming and warmhearted toward everyone. I don’t think she has ever met a stranger that she hasn’t hugged! It really taught me to be accepting of people.” – Tommy, 40

“I was never a picky eater, but my sister and Dad each like vegetables cut a different style in their salads. We usually had salad with every supper. My mom would make four individual salads, just the way we liked them, down to cutting the vegetables into a different style and the ingredients. I think now I see that she did this just because she cared about how good we ate.” – Amy, 41

“My mother loved to skate, ride horses, swim, loved kids, was always voted in as the class chaperone for all of our school dances and outings. She was involved in whatever we were doing. I think her love for cooking and setting beautiful tables to compliment that, her unique ability to gather people, made every gathering very special. Her flamboyant demonstration of joy and participation in family traditions and life in general — all of who she is — still lives in me and in my daughters. Well done, Mom.” – Mary Ann, 70

“My mom was really smart and very well read. She read the Bible a lot and took Latin in school. She took us to Sunday School and later to church. I learned the importance of getting a good education and the value of hard work. My mom worked hard at night but always cooked, from scratch most of the time, for our meals. Besides cooking, she also emphasized sewing, although, she didn’t sew on the machine very much herself.” – Jane, 68

“The arts are important. Any society that doesn’t support the arts is doomed to fail.” – Paul, 45

“We cooked at home so much! It was never a downer, either. Going out was fun, but the food at home was better. She also taught me early on that cooking isn’t hard. It’s even fun. But she did that without really trying. She would have me help with small tasks that got bigger as I got older. By 12 years old, I could cook several full meals by myself.” – Cassy, 37

“She showers a lot.” – Gracie, 7

“She cooks everyday. I don’t like it most of the time, and she doesn’t know, but my dad says he is going to the gym and he gets Taco Bell and sneaks it back in for us.” – Tanner, 8

“When my mom says a bad word, I know to stay away. Because she says she is a good Christian and only says bad words when she is mad.” – JP, 6

What is a good memory you have of your mom doing something she probably would have thought was pretty insignificant at the time, but it’s forever in your brain as a warm and fuzzy moment?

For the kids: What is something that your mom does that makes you feel special?

“I loved it when my mom would sing to me, only songs you’d find in an old baptist hymnal, “The Old Rugged Cross” being the most memorable. It was so hard to get Silas to stop crying when he was a baby, the first time I tried singing to him, he stopped crying and I started crying! Now I sing him to sleep every night.” – Tommy, 40

“Mom would tell us stories of when she was a kid growing up on my grandparents’ farm. It sounded like such a fantastic place.” – Jane, 68

“I would sneak into my parents bed when I was really little because I had awful leg cramps, and my mom would always rub my legs for me and tell me stories until I fell back asleep.” – Sarah, 35

“When I was about 4 or 5, when my mom would give me a bath, she would put my hair up in a bun using only Bobby pins if I didn’t have to wash my hair. I thought this was such magic and it made me feel like a princess. On the nights I would have to wash my hair, mom would use her dad’s recipe for shampoo (he was a barber) and it was thin and runny, and I thought it was hard to use. But it worked well and smelled great. She used this for years. Sometimes I would do anything to smell it again.” – Amy, 41

“During Mom’s last two years on earth, she stepped back from her powerful driving force as family matriarch, to give and receive tenderness. Those two years were so sweet and precious to me because I saw her as Mommy and not just as Mom or Mother.” – Mary Ann, 70

“My mom always had fresh flowers in our house, especially on our kitchen table. Even in winter, there would be some sort of centerpiece from nature, like a pine bough or cone. She would often have my siblings and me pick them for her, and no matter what we came back with, she would act like it was the prettiest bouquet she had ever seen.” – Mildred, 92

“She scratches my back every night when I am going to sleep.” – Raff, 10

“Once a week, my mom makes us all our own dinner. We get to pick it out.” – JP, 6

“My mom lets me play in her makeup. I love when she lets me do that. She only got mad one time when I used her waterproof mascara on my eyebrows. It didn’t come off for a week!” – Gracie, 7

What is one way that you’ve ended up being so much like your mom, and a way in which you are completely different?

For the kids: Do you want to grow up to be like your mom?

“I can be such a control freak, just like my mom. It’s hard asking for help and hard for me to accept offered help.” – Amy, 41

“I am like Mom in that, according to my perfectionist daughters, I am a perfectionist regarding special events. I want everything to be exactly right. My mom lived for her family and was always involved in whatever I was doing. I love my family but chose what I most wanted to do in life and shared it with them by involving them.” – Mary Ann, 70

“One way I’m like my mom is we both love to laugh and find humor in everything. We can laugh for hours at each other. We are different in that my mother has endless amounts of mental and physical energy. That woman requires little sleep, and she’s like the energizer bunny. I… do not. I’m more sloth-like.” – Tommy, 40

“My mom and I are both very opinionated, independent, very stubborn, and are both extremely high strung. We are both loud, and freak out easily about silly stuff. But she freaks out with worry and anxiety, and I freak out with anger and yelling and have a terrible temper. But we are very different in that she is a homebody, and I am never at home. Anytime I’m not at work, I am out of town, out of state, or out of the country. Never. At. Home.” – Sarah, 35

“My mom was always so very patient and so sweet. I have no patience and I think I’m pretty grumpy.” – Mildred, 92

“Yes! She is so pretty and gets to wear earrings!” – Addie, 5

“Maybe. But I am not going to marry a boy like my dad. When he comes out of the bathroom it smells BAD!” – Gracie, 7

“Yeah, but I don’t want to work as much as her.” – Raff, 10

Lastly, what is something you want your kids to remember about the kind of mom you are? How do you think they would describe you?

For the kids: What does your mom do that you think is really cool?

“I hope my son will think of me as a fun, adventurous mama that loves him fiercely and is very nurturing. I hope anyway.” – Sarah, 35

“I just hope that they know how much I love them. How much I would do it all over again to be their momma. And most importantly, no matter what, always love them and answer their call, listen to their stories, and try to be ready to help when they need me. I may not be the most exciting mom, but I hope they know that I’m always, always here.” – Amy, 41

“I hope my children will remember how much I loved every inch of them always, and that I lived each day to the fullest, and that all of my dreams came true. I want all of this to be true about them, too, and for their children.” – Mary Ann, 70

“I want him to think that I was fun, that I always had time for him, that I made him feel special, that I was beautiful (before I’m too old) and loved him more than absolutely anything.” – Tommy, 40

“I hope they remember the music, the singing, the laughter, the books we read together, holding hands as they fell asleep. I hope they’ll see past my faults and frustrations and know that they are the best parts of me.” – Cassy, 37

“She drinks beer!” – JP, 6

“She has her ears pierced and she always wears perfume and smells so good!” – Gracie, 7

“She takes me to concerts!” – Tanner, 8