Growing up with strict parents is the worst (at the time). You see your friends with parents who let them attend boy/girl sleepovers and movie parents who are both doting and unconcerned and then you wonder why can’t you have that as well. My situation was the exact opposite.
My mother, Julie Thompson, is the being I fear most in this world, present tense.
As a Christian, I live my life with a healthy fear of God, but as a child I didn’t think of eternal repercussions, only what would JT do if she found out. This led me to be both honest and unadventurous because I had no interest in getting in trouble.
My mom didn’t just give empty threats, she followed through. When I was young and my mother and stepfather were newly married, I would say the all-too-common child of divorce go to of “I want to live with Dad” when I didn’t get my way. Being a brat, I continued this behavior until one day my mom lost it. I’ve never seen a creature angrier. I’m not sure if she remained human or transformed into a dragon at one point, because I’m sure I saw her breathe fire. She made me call my father and threw plastic bags into my room to pack my stuff. Somehow, after sobbing hysterically and talking to my dad, I didn’t have to leave. But I never made that comment again.
Because I’m now an adult, I understand how cruel it was for me to say such things (for all parents involved). I know more of my mom’s feelings and I really regret how terrible I was for not recognizing the bigger picture.
Basically, this is my entire life. My mom continues to be the wisest and most faithful human being I know; yet I continually doubt or disobey her guidance because obviously I’m the smartest human. Everything she kept me from as a child and all the rules made me the (mostly) responsible and I’d like to think respectable (?) person I am today.
It wasn’t always easy. Sometimes I really disliked her for always saying no and making me clean. I was spanked, but I always deserved it (except that time I fell out of the top bunk, still not over it). I was disciplined, but never without cause.
You see, I’m the bratty youngest child who is kind of smart and therefore believes she is the smartest and must prove it at all times. My mother, being the wise unicorn she is, never told me how great or smart I was. When I did well, she applauded me, but it was never constant praise. It made receiving those kinds of words all the sweeter because I knew I had truly done well.
My mother understood how to deal with me and balance out my bratty self. She knew the best way to encourage my dreams without setting me up for failure. Even now, I cling to the things she says about me because if any mom isn’t biased, it’s probably JT. No matter where I feel my life is being pulled to, I know I can count on her for support.
More than anything else, my mom taught me to take life one step at a time and enjoy it. Despite the uncertainty of the past few years, she’s dealt with it all in stride and never let her emotions show. Her faithfulness inspires me to be a better Christian and remember the blessings God holds for those who don’t give up. I see her reflected in my sister who’s now a mother and I know someday I will be a good mom because I had a great one.
She wasn’t my best friend when I was young, but she is now. I’m so thankful for the time she took to train me into a decent human so that now, as adults, we can hang out. It’s rare that I have more fun than when I am with my mom and my sister. Together we are like the Three Musketeers, and together we can get through anything.
Thank you, Mom, for everything you do for me and all the love and support I feel. I hope you recognize how special you are and how much you mean to us.
BONUS: How the great JT feels about birthdays