Today is my Mother's birthday. Of all the memories I have of her, these are my favorites.
When I was a kid, my favorite game was the Legend of Zelda. Now that I'm 23, that series of games are still my favorite. My mother also really liked that game and she would always make time to play it. I would often beg her to play it, offering to do chores and help her out so she would come play it with me. I would often tell her that I needed help but I really just wanted to spend some time with her in a way that none of my other siblings could.
Growing up, I always thought I was her favorite child. The funny thing is that if you asked any of my other siblings, they would all say the same thing. That is why she is such a good mother. She makes us all feel special.
I was such a momma's boy when I was little. If my siblings were picking on me, I would hide in her robe while she was wearing it! She would often be doing the dishes in her robe and I would go and lift up her robe and get under there and just cling to her legs. My siblings always tell me it was so weird to see 2 different pairs of legs coming out of the bottom of her robe. I felt so safe under there and my mom always knew that if I did that then I just wanted to be left alone. My siblings would try to goad me out but my mother would tell them to knock it off and they would.
When I was in football, she always stood up for me even when I didn't know it. I would come home and complain about something and my mother would agree with me that whatever was happening was wrong and they should stop doing it. The next day at practice, my coach would have us take a knee at the end of practice and talk about whatever it was that was wrong. This happened at least three times. I always thought it was weird that they would explain whatever the problem was the next day after I complained about it. I always assumed it was someone else's parents that were complaining to the coach. The last time I especially thought was weird because after the coach got done explaining what was wrong, he singled me out amongst the other 30+players on my team. He called out and said, "Okay, guys? Okay, Allen?" I said okay but it never occurred to me that he was probably doing it because he was tired of my Mom calling him to complain.
When I turned 19, we often had arguments about whether I should go on a mission or not. One time was especially heated with both my parents and I was getting frustrated. I don't really remember what was said but I remember when my mother calmly looked at me and asked, "Why don't you want to go?" I think I said something to the effect of that I just didn't want to or that I didn't feel like I had a strong enough testimony. My mother studied me for a minute and then embraced me. I knew from then on that she wouldn't talk to me about it anymore. I knew I had let her down. I still know I had let her down. But her hug was not one of anger, but one of understanding. I knew that even though I let her down, and even though she didn't agree with my reasons for not wanting to go, she understood.
My mother has taught me everything I need to know to be a good man. When she moved to Ireland, I drove her and my Dad to the airport. I was fine until I started going home and I cried the whole way home and then a little at home. I was really sad. I knew that I would be fine and that I could take care of myself but I really just wanted both my Mom and Dad to be here so I could talk to them about stuff going on in my life. And though they aren't here anymore, I'm glad they are together experiencing something new in their lives. I love my mother and I want to thank her for everything she has done for me. I will always be grateful.
Happy Birthday, Mom!