For an edible Mother's Day gift idea, pack a pretty basket with Rebekah's Homemade Summer Fruit Jam and Cranberry-Orange Quick Bread. Find the recipes at SomeKindaGood.org.
As Mother’s Day approaches this year, I’d like to tell you a little bit about the lady I call Mama. A strong-willed and feisty God-fearing woman about 5 feet 4 inches tall with a small frame and thick, wavy, rich brown hair, she loves a gadget, can’t swim and watches the Home Shopping Network and QVC with pure wonderment. To hear my dad tell it, the UPS man knows her by name. A Tom Hanks movie or good Nicholas Sparks novel trips her trigger. A Saturday might find her spending time with her grandchildren, antiquing, getting a pedicure or going shoe shopping. Independent yet my dad’s other half, career-minded yet the perfect homemaker, if you were to ask any one of my childhood friends what they remember about spending the night with me growing up, it would be her.
When I was in middle school and Mom gave me permission to have friends sleep over, the 12-year-olds in us would stay up late talking and doing what little girls do. Without fail we would sleep in late, and if we weren’t awake by
10 a.m., Mama was knocking on the bedroom door saying, “Rebekah? Girls? It’s time to wake up. What would y’all like for breakfast?”
Then she would proceed to list our options, presenting them in a waitress-like fashion.
“We’ve got eggs, bacon, pancakes, grits, biscuits, sausage, orange juice, milk … I could fix some waffles or French toast, whatever y’all would like.”
To this day, my best friends of 20 years still count it among their favorite memories of us together, reenacting the scene in utter exaggeration. Back then I didn’t know it, but not everyone’s mama is June Cleaver incarnate.
As a teenager on Saturday mornings, and even now when I visit home, I would wake up to the smell of buttermilk pancakes wafting up the stairwell and the sounds of my mom downstairs in the kitchen, closing cabinet doors and rattling pots and pans. I couldn’t wait to wash my face and get to the breakfast table. In the colder months, if I came downstairs barefooted, inevitably at first sight of me, she would ask, “Where are your bedroom shoes?”
Throughout my childhood, Mama took me to softball practice and attended all my games. A birthday never went by without a big to-do, either at the skating rink or at home with cake and ice cream. There was never a doubt in my mind that I was special. Come the first day of school, I was always outfitted with every school supply and stitch of clothing I needed. When I walked across the stage for my high school and college graduations, Mama was right there in the audience, taking pictures, waving and cheering me on.
With more than 25 years of experience, my mother has made her living in education, climbing the ranks from elementary school teacher to various leadership and administrative positions. She taught me about professionalism and going after my dreams without ever realizing it.
It is because of her that I love the beach and animals and have my sense of style. Mom introduced me to artists like Toni Braxton and Celine Dion, my first influences outside the country music genre. I inherited that same feisty, go get ‘em attitude from her and my love of accessories. She is the reason I’m known among my friends as Martha Stuart.
I have a feeling that throughout my life, no matter if I’m 31 or 80, when I walk in the kitchen barefooted, Mom will always ask about my bedroom shoes. Lord willing, she’ll always be right there in the audience, no matter my stage of life.
Mama, I see myself reflected in you. The few examples I’ve shared today couldn’t begin to skim the surface of the childhood you and Dad gave to my brother and me, but as this Mother’s Day nears, know that every trip we took, every lunch you packed and every conversation we shared was taken to heart. Today I honor you; I respect you, and I thank you.
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 11.
Rebekah Faulk is a Georgia food writer and Statesboro-based TV personality. A Season 2 contestant on ABC's “The Taste,” she blogs at SomeKindaGood.org, a Southern, coastal food blog highlighting East Coast restaurant reviews and Low Country-inspired recipes. Follow her on Twitter at @SKGFoodBlog or search Facebook for Some Kinda Good.