Born to a Girl

It’s my mom’s birthday. Mom and I enjoy a close, loving relationship. I joke that we are growing old together. We are now more like sisters, rather than mother and daughter.

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She was a 17 year old high school senior when I was born. She took two weeks off after my birth, then returned to school and graduated with her class as scheduled. Mom was a year younger than today’s graduates, she started first grade at 5 years old.

Mom has always been a seeker of knowledge. It was very normal in our household to “look stuff up” on all kinds of things. We got the National Geographic and actually read it! We got all those Time Life books that came in series about famous artists, The Wild West, The Civil War, Archaeology – and we READ them. My favorite was the Artist Series, I’d get so excited when a new one arrived. Mom made learning a natural, fun thing to do.

It was quite the disappointment when she was told college was not an option for her after she graduated from high school. She did eventually attend college later in life.

Here is a poem I wrote about it:

Born To A Girl

I was born to a girl

Yet growing,

Still an inch shy

Of her full adult height.

A young lady

So very lovely.

Bright Eyes was

Her nickname.

Chestnut hair, Blue eyes

Turning up at the ends.

Strong Norwegian cheeks

and a perky, little “Barbie” nose.

Often late, she was

lean and athletic,

from running down

the long country road

to catch the school bus.

A smart student,

she hoped to go to college.

“No.” Her parents said.

“A wife you’ll be,

No college for you.”

She was told.

“Learn to sew, cook, clean house.”

Angry rebellion!

The sympathetic canoodles

Of an infatuated boy…

The tunes of the Everly Brothers…

“Whatta we gonna tell your mama

whatta we gonna tell your pa

whatta we gonna tell our friends

when they say,

‘ooh-la-la’?”

I was born to a girl

Yet growing.

Still an itch shy

Of her full adult height.

 

The young couple. Just married. (Geez, it looks like they’re going to a funeral!) Young family, both my parents are still in their teens.

Happy birthday to my momma! You have been such an amazing example of love in action in my life. I have loved having a young mother – it has seriously been such a blessing! Thank you for instilling in me a curiosity to learn, explore, ask questions and pursue my dreams. Because of you, I live my life happily in ARTitude each and every day.

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