Do you remember the Robert Fulghum book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? If not, you can find the important text here. I bring this up on Mother's Day because it was my mom who taught me all of the things on that list and more. She taught me to be kind, to share, to take turns, and to recognize the difference between right and wrong. She also taught me to do the right thing even when no one is looking. She made sure that I knew who God is and encouraged me to develop a relationship with him. She also insisted that I go to college and urged me to get a degree before marriage. And on a more practical level, she taught me to save for retirement and plan for my future.
I only lived with my mom until I was twelve years old, but the lessons she taught me were the kind that form the person you are. I don't get to see my mom very often, but I am grateful to her for making sure that I grew up with a moral compass that would guide me for the rest of my life.
I know it seems silly to want someone around just because they're nice and sweet, but frankly, I needed someone just like that in my life. Living with a single mom and a troubled little sister was difficult. Judy was always a friendly face in what was a confusing and rough world for a pre-teen girl struggling to find balance.
When I moved to my dad's to live full time, Judy was a safe haven during my adolescence. She helped ease my transition from an angst-ridden twelve year old to the well-grounded adult I would become. She was a voice of reason to my dad when boys, make up, and shaving my legs became an issue. She simply offered a reasonable view every time trouble crossed my path, and she never said no. She always tried to show me a better way through the example she set. Her way was one of balance and sensitivity.
I don't get to see Judy very often either, but I am also grateful to her for being a mom to me when it probably would have been easier to just leave my problems in the hands of my parents. She helped me become a woman with good sense who knows the value of being loved. Oh, and the book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? It was Judy who taught me that warm cookies and cold milk are good for you ... and brownies, banana nutless bread, apple pie, and a host of other baked yummies.
I hope all of you have moms like I do. Competing, whether it be endurance, dressage, or some other discipline, can be challenging. When we have a solid support system made up of loving family and friends, we are always successful no matter what we score or how we place.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom and Judy!