Memories of Moms

Memories of Moms

Moms: they always seemed to be around when we didn’t want them to be—and, later, when we needed them most. This Mother’s Day, Lehigh Valley residents share what they think of when they think of “Mom.”

“When I was little, my dad traveled a lot with work, so during the week, it was just my mom, my two sisters, and me. We spent so much time outside in the summer just playing, climbing trees, and sitting in mud puddles right after we took a bath. Our house was beside a big field, and one of my best memories was the day my mom, my sisters and I were flying kites in that field. Mom held the kite and we all laid on our backs in the field and cuddled around her. I remember looking up at the sky, the kite, and feeling so loved and carefree.”

— Leslie, 46, Allentown

“My mom was a single parent, worked full time, and then took classes at night, so I was a latchkey kid from age seven on. I know it sounds crazy, but my best memories of my mom were when I was sick. When I was sick, she stopped everything for me. She’d stay home, roll our crazy TV cart into my room, and she would lie down with me. We would watch TV and just be together. Chicken pox week was heaven!”

— Carrie, 42, Orefield

“My mom takes care of me and plays games with me—really, she’s just awesome 24/7.”

— Abbie, 8, Coopersburg

“I just found some pictures that reminded me of one of my best memories. When I was little, I was so obsessed with Little House on the Prairie that I dressed up like Laura Ingalls Wilders four Halloweens in a row. Driving on a family vacation to Chicago, we passed a log cabin, and I was convinced that was where Laura lived. So while in Chicago, my mom found and bought me a bonnet, and on the way home, we stopped at that same log cabin again. I hopped out, put on my bonnet, and my mom took so many pictures of me—because I was Laura, you know!”

— Becky, 38, Bethlehem

“Every summer, my mom would take my three sisters and me to our mountain house. We would spend our summers there with no cell phones, no working landline, and no television! My mom would call my dad weekly from a payphone, and he would drive up on weekends. Thinking back, she was so brave and resourceful to entertain four children all summer without the comforts of technology. We have the best memories of exploring outside, running through the creek, picking blueberries, and enjoying the summer with family. Now, having four kids of my own, I am in awe of how my mom gave us such amazing summers each year.”

— Jo Ann, 41, Emmaus

“Some days, my mom sits quietly and intently crochets scarves for her children and grandchildren, not wanting to be a burden. She works year-round because we have a large family and she wants to be sure that every person receives a scarf. Other days, she is not so demure, and her delusions take over. She can be intolerable. She is convinced her caregiver is scheming ways to drain her life savings, the savings she worked so hard to earn in her 22 years of factory life. She is incoherent as she sobs and wails, asking why her caregiver is so manipulative. My mom is a survivor: she lived through a war, she moved to the US with her husband and new baby, she did not speak the language, and she birthed and raised seven children only to be met with divorce. As unfair as it seems, she is greeted with a new challenge at this stage of her life—Alzheimer’s. She is my mom: I greatly admire her, and I will do anything to protect her.”

— Theresa, 51, Center Valley

“My mom was from Germany and moved to the United States when she was in her mid-thirties. A great memory I have is of all the German food we had in the house, especially marzipan. The big marzipan bar at Christmas was always the best.”

— Paul, 47, Coopersburg

“I love when my mom gets me my jammies and then gets me my toys and then puts me to bed and then lays down with me and then kisses my cheek and then kisses my toes.”

— Jonathan, 5, Coopersburg

“My mother was a parent of the ’50s: children should be seen and not heard, must obey all rules, and will appreciate what Santa leaves them. Fast forward to the birth of my children and the transformation of my mom: jump on the bed? Sure! Sugar all day? You bet! A $150 K’Nex ferris wheel set? Done! It is such a joy to watch her be a loving and fun Nanny; she worked for it.”

— Deb, 67, Coopersburg

And I was curious, so I asked my kids, Alec and Tessa (ages 14 and 10), for their memories of me.

“You come to every single event we have and cheer.”

“Actually, you yell. A lot. You are so loud.”

“Yeah, she does yell a lot. The only time she never really yells is when we go to Lake Placid in the summer. She never yells there. Not once.”

“Yeah, not once.”

“Hey! I am sitting right here!” I say.

“See, there you go, yelling. You yell when you are happy and when you are angry and when you are frustrated and when you are excited. Unless we see your face, it can be very confusing—but I don’t know what I would do without you.”

“Me either.”

“It would be really quiet, though.”

“Yeah, really quiet.”

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