"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children." ~Charles R. Swindoll, evangelical Christian pastor
I have so many wonderful memories of the days I shared with my mother as I was growing up. She stayed at home with my sister and me, and I remember many times when she would drop whatever it was she was doing--chopping vegetables for a stew, vacuuming, working on the books for Dad's business--and play with us, helping us to build a fort made out of blankets and chairs or reading our favorite books over and over or showing us how we could turn the kitchen bar stools into makeshift horses and ride them into the sunset... And even after I started school and teachers and homework became the new focus of my days, my mother continued to be the person I could count on to be there waiting for me as I got off the bus each day, ready with a snack and an ear. I loved those after-school conversations!
When I entered the turbulent high school years, my mother became my confidant. Of course we had moments when we clashed, when we couldn't see eye to eye about makeup or boyfriends or curfews, but still I sought out her advice when teenage life seemed too treacherous to navigate. I knew she was there, that I never had to go through anything alone, and that was a comfort.
The six years I spent earning my college degrees brought new changes and challenges to my life: serious relationships, concerns about how to put myself through school, decisions about what to do after I graduated... Mom was always willing to give me advice, but she didn't step in unless I asked her. Sometimes I took her advice, and sometimes I didn't, but the talks we had about things that were important to me--and to her--are some of the best memories I have of that period of my life.
And now that I have children of my own, I appreciate more and more the things that my mother taught me, the things she did for me, her many sacrifices, and the effort she made to make sure that I had good memories of growing up, snapshots of life that I'll always cherish. She showed me what being a caring parent means, and I think about her example every day as I try to be the best possible mother I can be.
If I can be only half as good as my mother, I will feel like a success.