The best woman in the world

laelene Post in general blog,Tags: , , ,
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I’ve been going through another binge period of TED video-watching and many of the performances I saw were dedicated to that particular person’s mother.  It reminded me of this crazy phenomenon where so much of the population admire and adore their mothers.  It’s really amazing because mothers (and fathers and grandparents) are one of the most often-lauded “groups” in society.  There’s a certain mystical nature about the influence of a mother and it strikes me as a curious thing.  After all, all mothers were just women before that, and little girls before that.  At what point do they suddenly become wise and caring and protective and loving and inspirational?  I wonder if the hormonal changes during pregnancy suddenly mature a lot of them and prepare them for a life as a role model.  What happens to make women transform like that?  I don’t get it.  Do I just have to wait my turn to feel the magical effects?  Many really rise to the occasion and do a great job in their role.

Take my mother for example.  She’s smart, she’s capable, she’s supportive, she’s patient, she’s skillful; she’s a handyman, she’s a chef, she’s a gardener, she’s a bargain hunter, she’s a problem solver, she’s a nurse, she’s an engineer, she’s a planner, she’s a housekeeper, she’s a financier, she’s a daughter, she’s a wife, she’s an aunt, she’s a mother.  Honestly, a lot of the things she does baffles me and I hope I don’t need so many skills when it’s my turn.  She can fix almost anything in the house, she can scrimp on money to leave extra for me to spend, she can cook and clean and handle our finances, all the while never running out of energy.  I think about cooking sometimes and it makes me tired.  I think about the laundry stacking up and leave for just one more day.  I see the clothes lying everywhere and consider them part of my personal “style.”  Meanwhile, she’s bustling around vacuuming the whole house, hanging up my clothes, taking care of her plants, investing in stocks, teaching herself programming, auditing classes at the local community college, and working on a few projects for her job.

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photo credit:

There’s also truly something to be said for a motherly touch.  It instantly soothes me, between a combination of the warmth, gentleness, and pure psychology of knowing it’s my mother caressing my forehead when I’m ill.  I remember a Vick’s VapoRub commercial that advertised the effectiveness of their solution combined with a mother’s hands to soothe a sick child in bed.  It really struck me because it’s completely true!  A little bit of cooling and heating ointment, plus the soft touch of my mother and I would feel so much better!  There’s a tenderness in that sort of treatment that helps as well, melting away all my worries.  I know I’m safe and cared for.  It beats any other option for recovering from illnesses!

It’s funny to hear how mothers are, as I’m sure many of yours are too – protective, concerned, crazy, embarrassing… they’ve got spunk, they’ve got personality, and they’ve got style that none can match.  Some prance around doing silly things, some make you do silly things, but in the end, you can’t help but love them.  I especially love cross-cultural mothers who have had to make the best of their culture in a new culture.  If you’ve never heard of My Mom is a FOB, you should go check it out.  It’s a collaborative blog that chronicles some of the strange, but ultimately endearing things that Asian-American mothers do.  (There’s also a counterpart for fathers.)  And so has been my experience, with way too much advice and quite a few grammatically confusing e-mails.  But hey, it’s hard to consolidate East and West into some sort of cohesive cultural mold!

Really though, what woman do you admire more than your mother?  (And perhaps your parents’ mothers?)

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