I am late, yet again on my entry for Writer’s Wednesday Workshop with Mama Kat.
I chose prompt #4 “Describe the moment you discovered your mom was more than just a mom,” although I’m sure I’m not following the rules or the actual prompt (as usual.)

I’ll add in another prompt, “How did you get your name?”
Well it was because Beatles decided to put out a little hit called “Michelle” just a few years before I was born (also why so many women about my age are named Michelle.) They had wanted to name me Kenneth, but for obvious reasons that had to wait for my brother.

When did I discover my mom was not “just a mom?” That is a hard one. I don’t really know what that means. As a child I guess it would mean when did I realize that her life was not just for me. As a parent myself I realize that is even harder to define.

My mom is always smiling. Her smile is so infectious you can’t help but smile back. People gravitate towards it even though she doesn’t know it.

She was always a “working mom.” She had to go back to work six weeks after I was born, so I knew that every minute I got to spend with her was precious. It never bothered me though. My friends had moms who stayed home with them, but I couldn’t imagine life any other way. Mom still took us to do fun things, made homemade cookies and play dough, sewed me Barbie dresses, (HOW did she do it?)

Me & Mom Christmas 1972 at my grandparent’s house
(not sure where they lived at that time.)

When I was almost five we moved to Tennessee because my dad got a job as a fishery biologist. Mom, who always secretly wished to be a stay-at-home mom decided it was her chance to try it. We had so much fun. She made her own wonton wrappers, embroidered quilts, we picked blackberries and made jam…

Then, in 1976 my mother discovered she was pregnant with my brother. About three months later my dad found out he had inoperable cancer and had six months to live. Mom never stopped during the pregnancy to sit down. She scraped and painted the house, made curtains, took care of my sick father. Seeing how much she did for him at that time made me realize how special she was and how much she loved him. He died in December 1977 at the age of 32.

Mom decided we’d visit her parents in the Canal Zone. She got a job with the Dept. of Defense and so we moved to Panama. After my brother and I left home, Mom continued her career helping US soldiers get their degrees and moved all around the world.

Mom and a soldier in Kosovo

So, when did I realize my mom was more than just a mom?
I guess I’ve always known that she is a truly amazing woman.

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