A belated ode to the Queen Mum

I know that Mom’s Day was yesterday, and was well celebrated, but today, in searching for a blog topic on my favorite idea generator, this little bit popped up onto my screen:

“What happened in your mother’s life when she was exactly the same age you are now?”

So I thought about it. And then thought to myself…whooooa.

My mom’s life at age *mumblefortyonemumble* was quite a bit different than mine.

And by quite a bit, I mean a LOT.

Let’s see. Well, for one thing…mom and dad were juggling three kids aged thirteen, ten and six at the time.

For the record, when I imagine what that must have been like, let me just say…GAH!

On the fun side, back then we used to go bombing around the wilds of New Mexico in an 1972 blue and white Chevy Blazer (“Karen, get out and lock in the hubs!”). My dad was big on road trips.

The back seat was bench style. I’d cram in the middle between my brother and sister.

Mom would pack up a lunch of cold fried chicken with all the sides and we’d head up to Cuba, New Mexico, in the Jemez mountains, to spend the day.

It was on one of these trips that the now infamous piƱon nut up the nose incident took place…I’ll spare you the details.

We’d spread a blanket under a tall, shady tree and eat. After lunch we’d all head off in different directions to explore.

Dad would bring a portion of his vast gun collection and each kid would take turns learning how to load and shoot every one. Our target was an old, soft tree that had been felled by lightening.

It was important to him that we weren’t scared of any of the guns kept in the house, and we weren’t curious about them either. We knew what they were and what they were for, and were very respectful of them.

Yes, I was shooting guns at the age of six. It was big, huge fun!

Mom wasn’t much for shooting. She’d participate sometimes, but mostly she’d be off to the side keeping a wary eye on us.

It had to about that time in my mom’s life, too, when we were taking a hike up in at our Cuba property. My mom, who was always looking down at the ground in search of a geode, instead found herself a genuine arrow head.

No, not one of those you find in a tchotchke shop in Arizona.

A real, honest to goodness, genuinely used by an actual Native American, arrowhead. The land we were on was once the hunting grounds of the Jicarilla Apache, among others.

Let’s see…what else was going on in mom’s life at that time….

She cooked dinner every night. Homemade tortillas and venison burrito meat were faves. (At the time, I would balk and get weird about eating Bambi meat. But in honesty, it tasted pretty good. Ssssh, don’t tell mom, okay?)

She volunteered as a librarian at my elementary school so she could be out of the house, but still around for her kids. She was running my sister and me to our ballet and tap lessons. She would proofread my homework, too.

A career secretary (now known as an executive assistant), she was hell on a typo or misspelled word.

Back then, life at our home wasn’t always perfect. It wasn’t always bad either.

So at the age I am now, Mom was managing a constantly in motion family focusing on kids and husband and work and home and putting a lot of effort into her days.

Me, I focus on work, my still fairly new husband, and spoiling my overindulged pets.

You know…in comparison…I have it pretty easy. And I owe my fairly easy, happy life to my mom. She worked hard so that her kid’s lives could be better than hers had been at the same age.

And in that, dear mom, you are a resounding success!

Thank you!

P.S. to mom: I’m sorry we couldn’t be together on Mom’s Day this year like last year. I hope my stinky brother** took good care of you this year. I’ll bet he didn’t give you a hand crafted present like I did last year.

I’m still your favorite…right? Right?

** (because all boys are stinky)

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  • Lucky

    Go Moms!

    I hear you – compared to my mom, it's almost as if I haven't quite grown up yet. At my age, my mom's kids were thirteen & ten (no 6-year old), she'd been married for 14 years and was well into her career, building up a hefty retirement plan that has her sunning herself in FL as we speak. I've been married for not quite four years, I have a dog and I guess at some point I'll set up that whole 401k stuff. . .

  • Mom-in-law

    What a nice tribute to your Mom, Karen.I'm sure she loved it … I feel guilty to have you on Mom's Day, even though I love it. I'm glad to hear big bro was there.

    And I take it the pinon up the nose adventure was like my – ahem – pussy-willow bud incident. Totally panicked my own mother. The local druggist saved the say by having me blow my nose. Imagine!

    Love –

  • Karen Fayeth

    Lucky – You know, all those years my folks scrimped and saved and worried about saving for their retirement. I thought they were fulla bollocks.

    Turns out they knew what they were doing…

    To quote:

    "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."

    — Mark Twain

  • Karen Fayeth

    To my Ma-in-Law: ah…blowing the nose. We tried that. I was rather *good* and shoving that little nut way back in my nose.

    We had to pay a doctor to have it excised. THAT made the folks super duper happy.

    Glad to know you and I have nose issues in common! Maybe we can get a group rate on Nose Fiddlers Anonymous meetings!

  • Anonymous

    Oh Fair New Mexico,

    I just have a quick question for you but couldn't find an email so had to resort to this. I am a progressive blogger. Please email me back at barbaraobrien@maacenter.org when you get a chance. Thanks.


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