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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
November 2011
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Mama Bear

It’s getting pretty hard to talk about my heroes. They are so very personal. This week I’d like to talk about my mother-in-law. My husband is a little paranoid though, so this might be short.

I admire her and consider her a hero for so many reasons, both large and small.

She was educated in another country, but when she got her kids over to the US, she had to start all over. She’s graduating this December with her RN.

She raised 2 kids without much help at all.

At one point in her life, she had her kids and absolutely no funds and barely any place to live. She now owns her own home and has no debt except for her mortgage.

She cooks like a fiend. I’m not even sure she LIKES cooking, but for years and years it was the only option and she’s just wicked efficient and quick now. The rare times she lets someone eat food that she didn’t cook, it’s Chinese takeout. If anyone knows Bear, this is where he gets it.

She earned money cleaning homes for a while. She is not ashamed of this. Her home is always immaculate.

She’s a fantastic mother. She’s human, and thus flawed like all of us, but she cares deeply for her kids and has proven how much she will do for them in both large ways and small. She calls Bear almost every night. If she didn’t get him the night before, she calls in the morning before we leave for work. She always always tells me hello or good night when she calls.

She’s got a green thumb. She grows her own pineapples. She started the first pineapple by buying one, cutting off the top and then planting it. She grows a tree (ackee tree) that really shouldn’t grow as far north as she lives, but it bears her a ton of fruit. She’s grown her own yams. She came to visit Bear and I and she did more yardwork in one day than Bear and I have all year.

She doesn’t talk about “exercise”. She talks about needing to “sweat”. It tickles me.

She didn’t like me very much when she first met me. Not for any reason that anyone would guess, but because I was so young. She was terribly worried that I was too meek and too innocent. We get along MUCH better now, mostly because I let her see my backbone. Most strong, capable, ambitious women would have been easier with a meek daughter-in-law. I think it’s a mark of how very confident she is in herself that she’s happier and more comfortable when she’s around other confident people. It always bowls me over when I think of it. This is such a RARE trait in a person. It totally explains Bear too.

She has a wicked sense of humor. I would share, but I have a feeling Bear would get embarrassed. Hey Bear, if you see this, give an example that doesn’t embarrass you, ok?

If anyone reads this, what’s the best character trait that you’ve seen in someone you consider your hero?