Memories of Mama
My mama was a force to be reckoned with. She always had a laugh or smile that would warm your heart. She didn’t take no gruff and you better come with your best southern manners.
She made instant friends and fans wherever she went (one time, I was living in Austin and a woman recognized me and asked how my mama was! I was shocked. I had NO clue who she was but she KNEW my mama!). One thing she loved was taking care of people’s children. I don’t remember ever a time, when my mama didn’t have somebody’s children over. My poor dad would just sit in his chair and take it.
She taught me many things about how to make meals stretch or how to care for a colicky child (we had the cleanest floors because of the noise of the vacuum which helped the child sleep). The major thing she taught me was that a child will be ready when they are ready to develop and there is nothing you can do but love them where they are.
I remember how tough she was with us, but when the grandkids came, she started to mellow out. When my son was little I was worried about his speech. He was literally not saying anything to anybody. He had seen Dr. Reed and other doctors just to tell me to wait. I tried everything , I could to get him to talk (bribery, costed me!). I went to my mama and cried because I wanted him to ” be like the other children at two years old”. My mama first hugged and kissed him. She then looked at me and said” You cannot force or make him do anything until HE is ready. We don’t force the sky to be blue all the time nor do we force people to stay with us for eternity.” I was so mad I started crying. She said, ” Baby, enjoy these beautiful childhood times, he only has one.” I looked over and watched him play with his Power Ranger . He was a very young two so, I decided to wait and take her advice. I then realized that I was putting an adult expectation on a child. Child development is individualized and unique. I was getting myself worked up and not allowing him to grow on his own. I was being forceful and look where it has gotten me.
My son was staying the summer with her and the millions of kids that was already there ( ok, not millions but there were 5 spending the night!) He stayed three months with my mama. They called after 9 ( because phone rates were cheaper, I am telling my age!) and sent photos of their adventures with family and just enjoyed the summer. All summer he barely spoke three words just pointed and cried for what he wanted. Then one morning in August, my mama calls and says, listen, ” What do you want to eat?” . I was thinking he won’t say anything. I sighed. Then suddenly, my son goes, ” Ganny, biscuit. Can I get biscuits?” Man, talk about MEGA MILLIONS! I thought I won. He was talking a little bit. He was gone three months and he was talking. I thanked my mama every time, I thought about this.
The moral of the story: Be easy with yourself and watching your child, learn and grown into their development. Enjoy them. Try not to let your adult expectations to take over. Oh and Yes, my mama was the best ( Ruth Williams-Staab June 1955-March 4, 2020).