Sunday, November 21, 2010

Judith W. Freeman: part Mom part Super Hero

I think about my Mom's a lot.
 I think I have said before that I am lucky enough to have four Mom's. 
Each of them have made me a better woman and taught me to celebrate Motherhood.

This post is dedicated to my very first Mom and my very first Super Hero.

Who was your first best friend? The person who you were so excited to see and spend time
with that you felt all giddy inside. The person who made you feel smart, creative and safe all at the same time.

Mine was my Mom. I would rather had spend time with her then anyone else in the world.
I remember sitting at the kitchen table, drawing, eating, playing, doing nothing at all, just to be with her, in her sanctuary.

See my Mom, when I was two, became a single parent of four kids, I was the youngest. I think this was somewhat of a surprise to her but she took it for what it was and continued to make her children's lives, extraordinary and magical.

I often find my two children driving me the brink of emotional disaster and then my heart sinks and I think of my Mom. Four kids, getting her MBA at Wake Forest and being there for us, I mean really being there for us.
How did you do it without a break or a companion to rely on?

I suppose we just get stronger and we just have to do it because that is the hand we have been dealt.

I want to interject here that my Father was a very important and active Dad in our lives. He made sure he was there for us in body and in voice (our weekly phone calls). As was my other Mother.... she made sure she found time to create a bond.. a connection.. even with her family growing by four over night.

This story is about my Mom, a woman who wore her emotions on her sleeve, who worked many hours and then came home and made dinner (after her 10 minutes of peace) and then helped with homework, read books, snuggled us... and I am sure collapsed.

My Mom was and is a writer. She stitches together words like fabric and with the fluidity of paint on a canvas bringing a moment back to life... as if you are there again. I have always wanted some of her wizardry.

I don't tell her enough how inspiring she was and is and how her spirit for joy, magic and surprise has carried over into my house.

At my house growing up we brought jars of fireflies into the house, turned off the lights and watched them become stars in our den. (i am not sure my mother approved but we had magical freedom)

An elf visited our house in the summer, leaving jacks, jump ropes, bubbles and other wonderful things and then his shoe always in the back door reminding us of what is possible.

Every holiday the house was filled with smells that made you jump for joy, with decorations, family gatherings, stories and games. We always had enough Christmas advent activities for each child to have something to do each day... Santa always left a boot print and after Santa became an idea, she changed it up and would send us on scavenger hunts to find our stockings... she is a creative, loving, genius.

My Mom always made us feel important, special and worth while. She believed in us and also gave us the freedom to learn life's lessons...

We had a skate rink in our basement and a badminton net in the attic.
We made fan tents each summer, a sheet, some safety pins and a box fan... it was refreshing and super fun.
Sometimes we would set up an entire new bedroom on our balcony outside... with beds and alarm clocks. (We did not have air conditioning so I guess this was our open air bedroom)

My Mom took us swimming almost every Friday night, four kids, after working all week, seriously WOW. It was a highlight of my childhood and I try to do this with my kids too.. although not as consistent.

She was always looking for ways to make unpleasant situations into an opportunity to let go... when my big sister got a dent in our new car, she put a rainbow sticker on it. That is how she was... and is.
(sometimes it is easier to help others let go then it is ourselves, right Mom?)

I remember ghost story night, sitting on Mom's bed as she reads us, in her animated voice, the "true" North Carolina stories of ghosts and spirits.

I remember Mom sleeping on the couch and me curled up on top of her, following her form.

She made a chore list that she put on the fridge... dividing the chores between four kids.
What a smart lady and what a great lesson for the kids to be responsible. We, of course, were not always responsible but it was great that she expected it from us.

I remember thinking of my Mom as a super hero.

When I was away from her my heart ached.

When she started dating again I would sit at the top of the stairs and wait for her to come home. When I heard the door knob turn I would run as fast I could and jump in bed. I just needed to know she was home.

In Kindergarten, we had a BIG fire in our attic. A woman driving by saw the smoke coming from our windows and woke us up. I slept with my Mom from that day until fourth or fifth grade and sometimes afterwards.

Life and relationships change. My relationship changed with my Mom around the time I was a preteen. I had an amazing opportunity to live in Nepal. But my Mom would not be there. ONE YEAR.
I grew up. I had to. My Mom had been my everything and I had to learn how to live without her.
I think it made me strong but also put up some emotional walls.

As we move into this next phase of life... both getting older, I grasp more to what I knew and learned.
What I admired and awed at in my Mom.

My Mom's most valuable gift and present she has taught me... you must be able to laugh at yourself and love yourself. She taught me that pain (she lives with excruciating chronic pain) cannot stop you from living life.

Judy Freeman, Lulu, Momly, JJ, Grammylu

I cannot imagine choosing anyone else to be my Mom.

You are life changing and have given me the joy of magical wonder for which I rejoice in my kids.

I love you, you amazing, generous, thoughtful, creative woman you.

Me and my Mom the Super Hero.


  1. Absolutely beautiful.. You have a lot of her in you!!! thanks for sharing!
    I Love you with all my Butt!!!!!
    hee hee

  2. This is such a lovely tribute to your mom. I envy your memories of her. My mom and I have finally reached a place where we can be in the same room without arguing about something. I didn't have the greatest childhood but the positive from that is my daughter had an amazing childhood and we did many of the things you mentioned. So maybe one day, my kid will be writing a similar tribute to me! Loved reading this.


Your words inspire me to do and be more. So do your thoughts but I just can't read them yet! ;)