Sunday, October 21, 2012

For my mom...

When I was in sixth grade, I wanted to play basketball.

My mom called the Parks and Rec department to put my name on a list of kids that needed a team. She soon discovered that I wasn't the only name on that list. Teams in our area were competitive. Most wouldn't take on kids they didn't know or kids who didn't have as much experience or talent. The kids with me on the list at Parks and Rec probably would never be adopted to a team. And neither would I.



So, my mom started a new team.

She began by coaching herself. I don't think my mom had any basketball experience, but she researched rules and drills online and got us started.

She ran up and down the court with us, my infant sister bouncing around in a carrier on her back. Later, she recruited coaches from local colleges.

Riot, the team that was formed, never won a game. But we all got to play. From a girl who turned out to be a starter on our high school team years later, to the girl who was found eating popcorn in the stands with her dad in the middle of a game, we all were able to be a part of a team and we were all able to play basketball.


In many ways, I like to think I'm my mother's daughter. I look more like her than my sisters do. We have a similar sense of humor and are both famous for loving to read (my aunt says when she would crash in my mom's room she'd always be pulling books from under the pillow and blankets).

But if I can be like my mom in any way, I hope I can learn to value people and human rights the way she does.

From creating a basketball team for all of us who were rejected by the other teams...

to busting up a meth lab in her role as a social worker, then making friends with all the accused, comparing cell phones and bemoaning her lack of a smart phone...

 to caring for my sometimes impatient, occasionally verbally abusive, and always demented 97-year-old grandmother...

my mom treats people in a way that most people can only aspire to -- that most people take for granted.

I hope I never take for granted the people that look out for me and the people who treat me well. And I hope to emulate my mom and be a light in the lives of people who need it.
My mom with her sisters and their grandmother (not the one mentioned above!)
 



Happy birthday Mom! I hope it's wonderful!

11 comments:

Tristan Schlegel said...

What a cool thing!

She sounds wonderful. I don't know what I would do without my Mama. And without me even knowing, I turned out exactly like her and it's becoming more and more apparent every day!

Katie said...

Aww happy birthday to your mama!

She sounds like such an amazing lady and I sure she is so blessed by your words.

Melissa said...

I love that when she couldn't get you on the basketball teams she formed her own! That is awesome! Haha!

She sounds like a wonderful person! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this lovely tribute, Ab. I suggest you write these only every ten years or so because it will be hard to live well enough for you to have stuff to write about! I'll be glad to see you next weekend.

Katrin said...

Happy happy birthday to your mom! She sounds awesome!
Have a lovely Sunday, my friend!

Brianna Tucker said...

What an awesome role model!
Happy birthday to you mom!
Brianna
adventuresofthesouthernwife.blogspot.com

Kate said...

No wonder you turned out so awesome. You've got an awesome mama! I absolutely love that she just decided to start coaching so you could play. That really takes a special person.

Sara said...

Happy birthday to your mom!! She sounds like an amazing person! It's incredibly awesome that she started a basketball team so everyone could play. :-)

This is such a wonderful post, and is exactly how I feel about my mom.

riana. said...

awww happy birthday to your mom! :)

love the photo booth picture, super cute!

Cassy said...

SO touching! You mom is an amazing womam! She is one of those people who is able to leave a lasting impression on anyone who has spent a little bit of time around her, including me.
Happy birthday Margaret!!

Amy said...

<3 <3 <3 Happy birthday to your mom!
She sounds absolutely fantastic! :)
I loved reading about her, *awwww* ok that sounds cheesy but i mean it in the most genuine way possible.

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