Thursday, October 06, 2005

Character: Mom

My mother is a very in-your-face kind of lady. Let's just say that I'm not the most perceptive person, but I've never had a problem figuring out what her current attitude is toward me.

She left home when she was very young, and it seems to me that experience had a very large hand in shaping who she is. She has had to work hard, and she expected no less of her children growing up...but at the same time she has a soft spot for hard-luck cases and knows how hard things can be when nobody seems to care. She's opened her home to everyone who ever wanted to stay for a little while or a long while, an attitude she obviously passed on to me.

She took in many, many foster kids, but she also took in foreign exchange students for two years when my biological sister and I were in high school, rented out the basement bedroom at a steal to college students and friends alike, allowed my alcoholic uncle to live with us when I was little (until it just got too hard), and once invited a family friend's rock band to stay for a weekend when they had a gig in town. I was a member of the drama club in high school, and we had a lot of cast parties in the basement.

She made our house a true home, a place of warmth, acceptance, happiness, excitement and love. What's more, I'd lay you odds that even the most insane kids she ever took care of would acknowledge that. Until she moved out of town, she had a steady stream of ex-foster kids visiting and calling to bear witness to the fact.

She, more than any other single person or thing in the world, is the reason I will be opening my home to Other People's Kids with an open heart and great expectations. My fondest hope is that I do half as well as she did. She set the bar very, very high.

As an aside, this woman will be the first recourse when a foster kid pulls a stunt that stymies my ability to comprehend the potential for stupidity and/or duplicity in the human race. I'll simply throw my arms in the air and run screaming like a little girl to my mommy so she can make it all better...or at least advise me on the best techniques for getting back at correcting the little shit child.


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