Friday, May 11, 2012

Mama Mia



I once watched a cat go after a javelina. The javelina outweighed her many times over.

(This is a javelina.)
The javelina had large tusks, a nasty temper and other foul smelling javelina friends nearby. Yet, the little cat attacked the larger animal with reckless abandon, a hissing, yowling ball of teeth, claws, and furious fur. The javelina (and the javelina's friends) turned tail and hastily scuttled off, startled at the onslaught. The cat watched them run, her tail hair standing at full attention, an unearthly growl rising from the pits of her small being, until she was satisfied they were indeed gone. The javelina's transgression? Wandering too near her warm nest of tiny, mewling kittens.

Moms just have it deep within, whether they be animal or human. Nothing speaks stronger to a woman's soul than protecting, nurturing, and loving her children.

Some mom facts:

  • There are 2 billion moms  in the world (82.5 million in the U.S.)
  • The average age of new moms today is 25, vs. 21 in 1970
  •  Currently moms average two kids in a lifetime (1950s: 3.5 kids; 1700s: 7-10 kids)
  • 4.3 babies are born each second
  •  Mrs. Vassilyev of Russia gave birth to 69 children between 1725 and 1765
  •  Rosanna Dalla Corte gave birth to a baby boy when she was 63 years old in Italy in 1994
  •  Signora Carmelina Fedele gave birth to a 22 lb 8 oz boy in Italy in 1955
  • A mom will change 7,300 diapers by baby's second birthday
  • Moms take 2 minutes, 5 seconds to change a single diaper (which adds up to three 40-hour work weeks each year!) , vs. 1 minute, 36 seconds for dads
  •  Most moms multi-task in the bathroom. Reading is the most common activity, followed by talking on the phone, meditating, watching TV, drinking coffee, eating, and balancing the checkbook
My own mom is amazing. A kindergarten teacher for 37 years, she won countless awards and is still revered by the thousands of students she taught. Some have said they went into teaching exactly because of her. I did. She is an amazing cook and loves to prepare full family meals often. She is known for her generosity, warm heart, and love. I feel so blessed to have been born to and raised by her and I am still well loved by her.

Here's a salute to you moms who do the hard stuff everyday, amid the sleep deprivation, poopy diapers, spit up, endless laundry, teen angst, school, and all the other things that spice up motherhood. You don't have to have birthed a baby from your own body to be a mama. There are plenty out there who have done the work of a mother, stepping in and loving with a mother's heart where it is needed. 

I am so blessed to be a mom to two amazing daughters. I can't imagine not being a mom.

Give a shout out to your own mom/grandma/female nurturer in your life, or other terrific moms you know. Let us hear about her in the comments!

Happy Mother's Day!


60 comments:

  1. What interesting statistics about moms; my gosh 69 children, can you imagine? I'm sure not all lived, but still wow!! Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman, Shelly; that was a long career too as a teacher! I can see how she would have impacted many a life, as you have in your teaching career!! It truly is a wonderful, wild adventure being a mom, isn't it?

    I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day.

    betty

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    1. Betty: Yes, she taught for a long time. My grandmother taught first grade for 48 years! I can't fathom teaching that long, but she did and she loved it.

      Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

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  2. Italian women scare me a bit. (chuckle) I became a nanny after college for a few years--best job EVER! lol But as I bounced an adorable 5 month old on my knee during the interview, she casually told me she was three and a half months pregnant. My eyes were saucers. "What, I'm Italian!" she laughed.

    Adore her still and just went to see that "5 month old" who now plays in a killer rock band. I still count him as my first son.

    Happy Mother's Day Shelly!

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    1. Chantel: Oh my- at least she was happy about it! What a wonderful circle of events, to get to see him now playing in a rock band- that's one of life's sweet rewards, isn't it?

      Happy Mother's Day to you!

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  3. Wonderful post about women and your mom! I think a mother's (or stay-at-home dad) job is the most important in the world. We are raising the next generation of humans who will lead this planet. What a terrific mother you had! I adore my mom also - she is my best friend.

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    1. Belle: You are so right- it's a sacred trust. Kind of staggering when you think about how far reaching it actually is.

      I love the relationship you have with your mom, and I can see in your posts it is repeated with your own daughters and granddaughters- lovely!

      Happy Mother's Day!

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  4. "The hand that rocks the cradle..."
    I, too,was blessed to have had a wonderful mother. Though the Lord took her 21 years ago, she is still very much a part of me.

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    1. vanilla: That's the terrific thing- though we may lose them off this earth, they will always, always be with us. Have you written about your mom? You are so good with memoirs that I would love to hear about her.

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    2. Shelly, I did write a short tribute to my Mom.
      http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=3535543883262225735#editor/target=post;postID=8910115877969514608

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    3. It's not letting me get into the link, but I am going to try later on this evening. Looking forward to reading about her~

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    4. Sorry, Shelly. My clipboard must have gone nuts. Try this:
      http://vanilla-ststt.blogspot.com/2009/08/mothers-birthday.html

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    5. vanilla: I got in! What a glorious tribute to your sweet mom. Thoroughly enjoyed it~

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  5. I wonder what Mrs. Vassilyev of Russia did in her spare time? (LOL) It is a mother's multitasking ability that amazes me most. My brain isn't wired that way. I can only focus on one thing at a time.

    My mother has been deceased for 17 years but I have adopted 100 year old Margaret Brown Schneider. I sent Margaret a Mother's Day card this week and received this email reply via her daughter Kathleen:

    "I was so surprised to get your Mother's Day card today! I love the flowers with the sparkles on the card. I really appreciate all the nice things you write about me and do for me. Thank you and God bless you.
    From a very old lady,
    Your friend Margaret"

    I live for moments like this, Shelly!

    Fact #3 in your post, explaining that women gave birth to many children centuries ago, will be illustrated on my blog this coming Monday when Kathleen presents Chapter 1 of Margaret's diary.

    Happy Mother's Day, Shelly!

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    1. Shady: You have a heart of gold, my friend. I imagine that did so much to make Margaret's day even brighter! You also get the joy of knowing her better, too, so it's a win-win, however you look at it.

      I can't wait to read your Monday post- I know it will be fascinating to me! Thank you for your good wishes!

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  6. Oh, I loved this, Shelly! I like the javelina story. We went to Tucson last year and learned a lot about the javelina. We have a book all about how the javelina is not a pig or in th pig family. (I still don't believe them.) The mother facts were great, too. 69 children?!?! I hope you have a Happy Mother's Day with your own mother and your daughters. :)

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    1. Kelley: We've got them in our yard- they smell so bad! (javelinas, not moms!) Have a wonderful Mother's Day yourself!

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  7. Great post. Sunday is not only Mother's Day, it's also my Mother's eighty- seventh birthday. It takes a shoehorn to get her out of her apartment but I intend to try.

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    1. Stephen: To reach 87 is an incredible thing- Happy birthday to her! I do hope you're able to get her out of her apartment for some fun. You're a good son-

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  8. Happy Mama's Day to you. Fun to learn something more about you. I didn't know you had two daughters.
    They are blessed to have you for their mama.
    Give your mama a big kiss-a-roo this Sunday! Sounds like she is a gem.

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    1. Christine: Thank you! I know you will have a terrific celebration tomorrow with your beautiful family- so enjoy!!!

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    2. Christine, you are always so good with your pictures and I am not, but here is a post http://shellysm.blogspot.com/2011/09/feathers-and-fashionistas.html

      I did a while back about my younger daughter that has a picture of her in it, if you want to see-

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  9. My mother took such good care of me and my two younger sisters and helped my father run his small country store. My dad died in 1974 and she had to learn how to drive and get a real job for the first time in her life at age 54. She also had only made it through the 8th grade in school. She got a job at a plastics factory and quickly became an inspector and they encouraged her to get her GED. She studied at the community college in the evenings and I was so very proud to see her walk up to get her diploma in her cap and gown. She died in 2002 and I miss her very much.

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    1. Odie: Your mom sounds like a true gem. How brave and determined she must have been, to move into such unfamiliar territory in middle age. Have you written any posts about her? I'd love to read them if you have-

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  10. Great post!

    My mom raised 7 children plus a foster son. She somehow kept us all fed and dressed and happy on my dad's school teacher salary. She is able to conjure a meal that will feed dozens with only a moments notice and she is the hardest worker I've ever known. It wasn't until I had my own home that I realized what a wonderful homemaker she was. I always took it for granted that toilets never looked dirty and baseboards never collected dust. Throughout my teen years, no matter how late I came home, I never walked through the door to a dark, empty room--she must have lived on zero sleep for about three decades! Two years ago she shocked us all with a diagnosis of lung cancer. (Has never smoked a cigarette!) But then, true to form, turned right around and kicked cancer's butt!! The doctors told her to expect at least a 2 week hospital stay--they discharged her five days later. Most recently she saved me by stepping in and taking care of everything when our world was in turmoil. She is the hub that holds our family together and I admire her more than anyone on Earth.

    Happy Mother's Day, Shelly!

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    1. Nancy: WOW! I see where you get your dynamic personality from. She is amazing- from the example she set in taking care of you all to the way she dispatched cancer. I love people like that- what great role models they are for the rest of us! I know this will be a happy Mother's Day for you, but I want to say it anyway- Happy Mother's Day!

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  11. Happy Mother's Day to you too :-)

    Eva

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    1. Eva: I hope your Mother's Day is wonderful there in your lovely Ireland with your beautiful art!

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  12. Yes, we mothers are quite fierce when our babies are threatened, aren't we? Great post, and indeed mothers come in all shapes and sizes and many are not even biologically ours, but they are nurturers all the same. I have a couple of those in my life as well as my own good mother.

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    1. Karen: I'm so glad God made us mothers. We are important to this world, aren't we?

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  13. Dear Shelly, . . . this is an fine tribute to mothers everywhere. And to cat mothers also! I remember when Dulcy, the cat with whom I lived for seventeen and a half years, was carrying her first and only litter. She grew heavy with them and then one day, on the basement steps, she miscarried one. And so the vet had to remove all of the litter and spay her because he said that when such a thing happens on the first litter it will continue to do so.

    A few days later, I adopted a small kitten who'd been thrown away in the woods. Bartleby fur was matted; he had mites in his ears and mucus on his eyes. But Dulcy immediately adopted him. I watched her teach him so many wonderful things. She was a true mother to him.

    Peace.

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    1. Dee: How this touches my heart. I am constantly amazed at the capacity of love animal moms have in them. I can see her adopting him and loving him, no matter what he first looked like. A true mother's heart!

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  14. Thank you for sharing the tribute Shelly. Man, that is one ugly creature! Happy Mother's Day to you. Blessings.

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    1. JBR: The babies are cute, but the adults are as unattractive as they come, and whew! do they STINK! Blessings to you, my friend~

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    2. Those teeth look razor sharp too. Don't want to mess with them! Blessings.

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  15. Dearest Shelly,
    Good Morning, my dear friend!
    Oh, how wonderful that your mother is such an amazing mother and person♡♡♡ Proud of her and you as well♪
    Being Mother must be a greatest and most important job in the world, (like Belle said). I remember how much my mother tried to teach me things; sometimes I felt it a bit of a burden on my shoulders, but I DO thank her the time being together in the kitchen or the praises she gave me after she found my cleaning the dishes and the house when little.
    Oh, what an interesting statistics!!! And I felt quite unfair for God, reading about "Mrs. Vassilyev of Russia" that he hasn't given me one(^^;) And I didn't know the animal called "javelina"; I was wondering where your writing goes... hehe. Thank you so much for the great story.
    Happy Mother's Day♬♬♬  
    Love you always, xoxo Miyako*

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  16. Orchid: I know you must bring great honor to your dad and to your mom's memory for the good daughter you are. She taught you well.

    I can't get over that Russian woman- my goodness! And I thought that picture of the javelina might shake things up a little bit!

    Have a wonderful day, my dear friend Miyako!

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  17. oh wow...what fun facts....some of them are scary!!
    You are blessed to have your mom and daughters...good for you! I miss my mom many days.
    Happy Mothers Day!

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    1. Annmarie Pipa: Thank you and I hope your Mother's Day is wonderfully joyful, as well!

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  18. Shelly,
    So glad you had such a wonderful mother. I would say she has a pretty great daughter, too! :)

    Blessings to you - Marsha

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    1. Marsha: You are so kind- thank you! Happy Mother's Day!

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  19. Happy Mothers Day to you Shelley. Thats a lot of information about mums. They are getting older and having less babies that a hundred years ago. I feel sorry for the Italian woman having a baby at 63yrs. The javelina I have never seen before. At first sight I thought it was a wild pig. Amazing.

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    1. Crystal Mary: The javelina does look like a wild hog, but it's a peccary. The babies are cute, but the older ones really tear up the yard and stink!

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  20. I forgot to say about your mother, she sounds like a wonderful lady. Very hard working and inspiring to others.No wonder you wanted to follow her. xx

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    1. Crystal Mary: She truly is- thank you! Happy Mother's Day!

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  21. You just reminded me that I used to read a book in the shower...yeah, the shower. Anything for some peace and quiet for a few minutes. :)

    Your mom truly is remarkable to have touched so many lives while teaching. I'm sure she is continuing to touch many lives, one of them of course, is you. Happy Mother's day. This was beautiful.

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    1. Simone: Now that takes practice to keep the book dry! But truly, we moms are the experts in multi-tasking.

      Thank you, and have a wonderful Mother's Day!

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  22. I use to read in the bath and yes I know many people do that but thought I would share that as well, I am lucky to be a mother to 3 beautiful daughters but more so I lucky to be the daughter of a truly amazing woman.........

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    1. Jo-Anne: Well said, my friend, well said!

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    1. Sandie: Thank you! And a very happy Mother's Day to you, too, my friend~

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  24. trekking your blog!!!
    hi shelly! thanks for your visit! happy mothers day to you! :-)

    cheers!
    ..TREK..

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    1. icedgurl trek: Thank you! I hope your day is joyful, as well~

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  25. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

    Happy happy mothers day.

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    1. Chulo: Thank you- love that verse!

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  26. What a beautiful, tenderly written post. We celebrated Mother's Day in the UK a couple of months ago (smile).

    Happy Mother's Day!

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    1. Shrinky: Thank you! I'm headed over to visit your blog~

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  27. Awesome tibits on "MOMS" some I did not know....I would NOT want to have a baby now at 55 let alone at 63.....NO WAY JOSE! ;0) Happy Monday

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    1. Rhonda: That age kind of staggered me- unbelievable!!!

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