Sunday, April 3, 2011

Storytelling Sunday: Mothering

I grew up with six brothers and sisters in a close-knit family. We were raised in a sun-drenched neighborhood, built on land which used to sprout orange groves, but, which by the early 1960's, instead nurtured families whose fathers worked in aerospace and other Southern California "baby boom" industries. Unlike most of the other families in the neighborhood, my mother had to work to help support the family.  She worked as a hospital nurse for most of my childhood, working either the 7am-3pm, 3pm-11pm or 11pm-7am shifts.  Later, she would teach women to become licensed vocational nurses and work with children as a school Head Start Nurse, but those are stories from another time. These were the early days.
Nurses in those days had a certain look, very far removed from the  nurses we see today.  I remember watching my mother get dressed for work - putting on her starched white dress, adjusting her white stockings, lacing up her neatly polished white shoes and finally pinning her cap onto her gorgeous raven black hair.  She was busy, and I missed her a a lot. Only now as a working mother struggling to raise two children ("I occasionally think . . .  six!") can I begin to understand her life.  Which makes me appreciate the little moments all that much more.
I remember one very hot day.  I must have been in second grade.  My stomach hurt, and I was miserable.  I went to the office, and they called my mom at work to come get me.  She took me home, laid me in her bed (their room was the only one with air conditioning), gave me Popsicles and sat with me for hours.  I remember the crisp, coolness of the sheets and the way her knees looked, covered in white stockings, peeking out from under her skirt as she sat their next to me.  I remember feeling happy and cared for and loved.
What makes a good mother?  Is it the big things like raising six children to become happy, healthy adults?  Or the hard work of bringing home a pay check to support them? I think it's all of that, but I also think it's in the small moments of bandaging a knee or watching a school play.  It's those small moments of love and care. . . those small moments of mothering.
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This post is offered as part of Storytelling Sunday, hosted by Sian at her blog, From High in the Sky .  For more entries, click on this link.

25 comments:

Angelfish said...

So very true. It's funny the little things I remember from my own childhood and sometimes wonder what my own children will recall from theirs.

Fiona x

Scrappy Grams said...

I hope my children have moments like yours in their memories. I know that my granddaughters do because, as adults, they've shared them with me. Your mom sounds like a gem to me!

Jimjams said...

Lovely story - mothers really are wonderful aren't they :)

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Wonderful story!

Jo said...

That's a lovely story and it's the big and the small things that count.

Julie said...

Well said Rinda, and a lovely memory of your Mom.
My Mom was the same sort of mom as yours. With the exception that she stayed at home and only had my brother and I to look after. The greatest thing about my mom (and she instilled this is me and my brother) was the amount of time she spent with us doing fun things and letting us explore our creativity. Loved that about her.

furrypig said...

what a perfect story for Mothers Day in the UL thans so much for sharing your story I love hearing about nursing in the USA too. Did any of your siblings become nurses?

laurie said...

such a wonderful story, rinda. my grandma was a nurse and this story reminded me of her uniform, which was just like your mom's. :-)

Mary B said...

Such a lovely story and memory of your Mother.

scrappyjacky said...

A perfect story for Mothers Day [though I know it isn't in the US].And I agree.....it's all those things that make a mother....and make the warm memories of childhood.

Heather said...

A sweet story Rinda. Those little memories are so precious aren't they :)

Alison said...

A great story for Mother's Day..where would we be without mothers?

Alison xx

Sian said...

So movingly rendered Rinda, this is truly a special story and I love that you have chosen this one for our Mothers Day in the UK today - thank you.

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

Beautiful, Rinda. My mom worked too so I can really relate to your own situation. I love this post! xo

Ginger said...

Those are some wonderful memories you have shared of your mom. As a nurse I enjoy hearing about what nursing was like so many years ago. Thanks for sharing your story :)

Becky said...

A wonderful story for Mother's Day Rinda, beautiful memories.

S said...

In a big family, we most often remember the moments when we had our Mom's full attention, don't we? I can't imagine what it would be like to raise 6 kids either, let alone work too.

Miriam said...

Rhinda this is such a beautiful story. Yes, time is the most wonderful gift we can give our children. My mother had 6 and I struggle to remember a special moment. There was always so much for her to do. tfs x

mary ann said...

Your beautiful story illustrates very clearly the type of memories I want my little one to have about growing up. Thanks for sharing.

Cheri said...

lovely story Rinda - you know you were loved.

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Your site is beautiful and inspirational. I’m now following you and looking forward to future posts.
Regards, Mari

http://www.mariscamera.blogspot.com/

Amy said...

Rinda, I hope you scrap this story, if you haven't already, it is beautiful :-)

I too have often sat back in awe for all my Mum has and does do - especially on a day when I am frazzled with two and she had four close together ... I am sure I don't know I am alive!

favouriteworkofart said...

Its definitely the little things that make a difference in how we relate to people and how we are remembered. Loved your story and the message it contained.

Irene said...

What a lovely moment shared with your mother. Thanks for sharing this memory with us. Isn't it funny how we remember the small things mothers do for us? The few times I saw her I remember her as a very proper lady with lots of class.

Karen said...

What a wonderful, moving story! I, too, had a working mom, but I remember that she always seemed to have time for me when I needed her. I hope my kids can say the same about me.