The word “mother” makes me think of two things. It makes me think of my mother, and all the things she has done for my three sisters and me. Second, it makes me think of myself as a mom.
As I think back to my childhood, there are several happy thoughts that come to my mind that I’ll never forget. Maybe it’s because my mom also kept a close eye on the details when I was growing up; she had a way of making a lot of things just a little extra special. Sometimes I wonder what stuff my kids will remember when they think back someday about me — my hope is that the little things bring them a big smile.
Here are just a few things that now, looking back on, I cherish.
1. “Sprinkling love” on my food — Before the dinner was ready for the table, my mom would take a salt shaker and pretend to sprinkle “love” on my meal, just to make sure I knew she made it with love. To this day, dinner isn’t quite the same without love sprinkled in.
2. The love hand squeeze — My mom and I had a special code. If we were holding hands crossing the street, walking through the park, or wherever it might be, if we had each other’s hand, she would squeeze mine three times. That was code for “I love you.” Then I’d squeeze back four squeezes for “I love you, too.” (I’ve passed this one on to my daughters, too. Those little squeezes are the best).
3. The Good Morning Song — Even though I didn’t like to get up in the morning, she would always sing this little song she made up to wake me up.
4. Notes in my recipe book — My mom always wrote notes in the books that she gave me. Most recently, I found one she gave me in a recipe book that she put together. It was so special. It reminded me just how much things like this mean to our kids. (Bonus for creating a family book of recipes. They’re just priceless to me.)
5. How she encouraged me — From an early age, my mom would videotape me, listen to me perform, play with me and, most importantly, encourage me to do what I loved.
Certain things will always stick out to your kiddos. It may be worth thinking about for a moment. What are those things you want your littles to remember about you when they’re all grown up?