Can we take 7 minutes to talk about my mom?
She has been a teacher for special education for as long as I can remember. She has the patience of a saint.
She’s a children’s book author and for five years now she has a foundation that promotes the pleasure of reading with kids (especially those who don’t have the wealth of having books at home)
She’s also tireless. Even though she is already retired, she still works 3 days of the week at school. The kids have various sad social backgrounds. It is often that she’ll come home with stories that will crush your heart. How she was chased by an uncle of a girl who was molesting her. How this girl showed weird behavior during classes and she decided to pay a visit to her house, to see with who she lived. She was threatened and chased away by the uncle. But still she called the social worker and made sure the girl was taken out of the house and treated by a psychologist.
Or the boy whose dad was in jail and was scared to death that he would hear about his bad grades. That same boy who was so deprived of attention he started kicking my mom when she gave him a squeeze and hug. How after 3 months of careful guidance he finally was the one coming to her and giving her a hug. There are countless of stories like these.
In the meanwhile she wrote 2 books for children. Huge successes. All sold out and she’s working on the third in the series.
This reading foundation of hers, it started as research topic for her thesis, about 7 years ago. We did a pilot project, my mom and me, and it was a huge success. After 5 years of being a foundation she is invited around the region to speak as lecturer. To be an example of “best practice”. They have won several awards. They have a TV show, a quiz, a DVD and lots of cute merchandise. They give away books to the kids who receive the volunteers in their homes.
My mom deals with me, I’ll spare you the details but you need the patience of a saint to manage my shenanigans at times. My mom comes to my house and sees my mess and does not give one comment, she’ll let you live your life as you damn wish. She’ll sit next to my pile of clothes that have been there for months and just ignore it.
My mom is the kind of mom who’ll never turn anyone away. I grew up with her preparing us lunch for school and seeing her prepare 4 extra, for the kids who come hungry to school because at home they don’t have anything. My mom never sent anyone away but split our meatloaf in 9 instead of 5.
My mom has known a lot of personal suffering. But she never ever lost her optimism.
I did not and don’t always understand this about my mom. I certainly also don’t show my deep love and appreciation for my mom enough.
I hope by writing it down here, and having it rain a little on my face I remind myself that it is now that I need to share this with her.