I've been fortunate in that I've had my mother in my life, as well as a few surrogate mothers. Two of my surrogate mothers hold a deep and dear place in my heart-- my grandma and my MIL (mother in law).
My mom was a truck driver during my childhood, which meant that she was often gone for long stretches of time. For a long time, my brother and I had live in babysitters who took care of us. Then God blessed us, because we moved to Blairsville, Georgia to live with my grandparents. And my grandparents became more than just grandparents to us. They became surrogate parents. My grandma says that there were times that Jon and I called her "Mom," and she had to remind us that she wasn't our Mommy. I know that she was afraid that we would hurt Mama's feelings and somehow dishonor Mama if we called her "Mom."
As a mother now, I completely understand her concerns. But the truth is, my grandma is the one who fixed us oatmeal for breakfast most mornings. My grandma is the one who signed a lot of my report cards. My grandma is the one who took me to the dentist the time that I flipped over my handlebars and chipped my tooth. My grandma is the one who made the dress that I wore the first time that I ever felt pretty. My grandma is the one who refashioned a dress for my Junior prom. My grandma is the one who taught me to walk in high heels and how to sit like a lady. She taught me how to make sweet tea, how to cook certain foods, how to clean house, and how to speak on the phone politely. It is no wonder that people often comment on how "old" my ways are, how I am a bit old fashioned in many of my views and ways. I have definitely been shaped my my "grand" mother. And I am so grateful for that. And I'm so grateful to her.
Aaron's mom, Lucy, is such an amazing woman. You know those horror stories that you hear about mothers in law? The ones who resent you for taking away their boy, or who interfere and meddle and make a general nuisance of themselves? Yes, well, my mother in law is not and has never been one of those. From the very beginning, she has welcomed me as a daughter in her family, even letting me call her "mom." When Aaron and I were dating (long distance), I would often go over to his parents house and eat supper with them or just hang out over there. In so many ways, being with his parents reminded me of being at my grandparents. Plus, their house is waaaaaay out in the woods, which eased some of my homesickness for nature. Anyhow, I digress... My MIL, as I was saying, has welcomed me into her family from the very beginning. I was a bit intimidated by her at first-- she's one of those women who is always put together, exudes confidence, and doesn't seem to waver in life. As I've gotten to know her, I've had the priviledge and pleasure of seeing her without her makeup, and of seeing her as a real person who has to make decisions and choices in life. I've learned many things from her, including how to accessorize :), how to be an effective leader, and how to handle certain situations. What amuses me the most about her influence in my life is the fact that many people say that they are intimidated by me when they first meet me-- that I seem to be very put together, very confident, and unwavering in my life. Aaron and I laugh about the fact that I have grown to be like his mother in many ways.
But make no mistake-- I am indeed my mother's daughter. My own mother is one of my closest friends, my strength, my rock, and just so dear to me. She's taught me a great many things in life too--- but I've written about her before. :) Suffice it to say, I love my mommy very much. And I love my grandma and my MIL very much too, and will be forever grateful for them in my life.