Well, Gilbert Girl and Inklings have both written about their mothers, and even though Inklings and I share a mother, I wanted to do the same. My two older sisters come first in the children line up, and I'm at the end of the line, being 5th of 6, so I didn't really feel that I grew up with them. They were both married by the time I was about 10. Sometimes I tell them memories I have, and they ask if we had the same mother. After reading Inklings post, I am wondering the same thing. :)
My memories of our mother are a little different. I don't remember her ever doing projects or crafts with me. I do remember her telling me one time how to make paper beads, but she didn't show me, just told me, and I had to keep coming back and showing her what I was doing to get more instruction. She also told me how to do other things like paper mache. But I do remember that she was always involved in projects of her own.
I remember when she took up painting. My Dad gave my brother and me $10 to walk to the craft store and buy her an easel for her birthday. I thought $10 was a fortune, and felt my Dad was really splurging. lol I often came home from school to find my mother painting at that easel. I think all of us siblings have one of her paintings in our homes. She sometimes took me with her when she went outside to paint. Usually this was during vacation when she wanted to paint memories of home such as the local mountains, or my grandfather's birthplace.
My mother also sewed a lot. When I was in elementary school, almost every piece of clothing I owned was homemade. My mother made me polyester "pant suits" that had a pair of elastic waist pants, and a shirt to match. She would applique things on the front. One had a chicken hatching out of an egg appliqued on the front. One had a large fish trying to eat a smaller fish, that was trying to eat an even smaller fish. My mother even made my coat. I do remember that she didn't get the buttons sewn on for a long time, so I had to hold my coat closed in the wind. She also sewed many quilts.
My mother was somewhat involved in the community as well. For many years she was a member of the "Hobby club" that would make crafts together. She and my father were on a bowling team and bowled regularly for a time. My mother always volunteered to help with the voting booths during election time, and I was always happy to see her at my school sitting at the voting desk. At one time she helped take census, and I went with her when she drove to places outside of town to take census. When my older brothers were in high school, she took a temporary job working at "Orange Julius" to make a little extra money. That's the only time I ever remember her working outside the home. In later years she has worked at the church geneology libraries, and is quite a good geneologist. There was a man we knew who was from a family of 7 children. I can't remember what happened, but the children were all put in to foster homes. He was about 16 at the time, and didn't like living in foster homes, so ran away and joined the Navy. He never had contact with his siblings after that. My mother helped him to find the surviving siblings and make contact with them. He was so happy that he made her a beautiful cedar chest as a thank you present.
My mother was very patient. The only time I recall her getting mad was if we fought, or didnt' obey. I remember her telling us to clean our rooms on Saturday morning. We were sitting watching cartoons instead. She marched over and turned off the television and started counting to ten. We didn't see her mad often, so this usually had a great effect on us.
Every year she would drive us kids alone out to Utah to visit her parents. My Dad would follow by airplane a couple of weeks later. If we started to fight in the car, she would pull over to the side of the road and refuse to go farther until we stopped fighting. Back in those days we didn't really use seat belts, so she would make a bed in the back of the station wagon, and I often rode back there. If I got car sick, she would let me come sit in the front seat. That was an all day drive for her, but she would do it in one day, driving the whole way herself.
I don't know why, but I always got ideas of things I wanted my family to do, and I would push them to do it. My parents always played along. Once I persuaded them, and my younger brother (only we 2 children were living at home at that time) to take a ballroom dance class. My parents actually danced very well, but they still paid the class money and went with me and my brother. Another time, when I was in college, I convinced them to drive the 4 hours to see me so we could go see the Ramses II exhibit. As a teenager, I convinced them to let me and my boyfriend convert our garage in to a martial arts studio. They were always willing to endulge me in my ideas.
I think one of the greatest gifts my mother gave me was a quiet, peaceful, innocent childhood. I was quite sheltered from the world and from bad things. I wasn't exposed to violence or immorality, or evil, or abuse. My mother was calm and assertive as a parent, and gave me a peaceful foundation whereupon to build my life.