A long time ago, when I was twelve, I was forced to come to a birthday party (at least, that’s what I think the party was for). The only people I was comfortable around were my Mom and my step-dad, so I naturally clung to them the whole time. Having just heard, it, I told her the story of why Jim Butcher wrote the Codex Alera. That is to say, he wrote it on a bet. Obviously it’s a lot funnier when Jim tells the story, so I suggest you go look it up, because it’s hilarious. Long story short, he wrote it based on two cliche ideas, and put them together.
So when I told my Mom this story, she thought it would be a good idea to give me the same challenge. (I don’t remember if she came up with the idea on her own or if I challenged her to give me two ideas, but that’s not really the point). So, I took the challenge of writing a story using the ideas of Codename: Kids Next Door (she really liked that cartoon) and Clifford The Big Red Dog. After about seven different drafts and revisions over the years, it turned into Soldier of Nadu. I’m sure she still has the first draft, written on a paper bag with some color of marker I can’t recall.
But, the thing I’m really trying to get across here, is that my Mom is empowering. She probably has far more faith than I do that I’ll be famous one day, and even though she obviously doesn’t care about epic fantasy as much as me or my brothers do, she still gets it. I can come to her when I’m stuck with a problem with worldbuilding and she’ll do her best to get me through it. She humors us a great deal. Back in the day, she knew a lot about how World of Warcraft worked, because we told her about mechanics and the culture and stuff so that she would understand what we were talking about when we were telling stories to each other. She never played, no. She’s not really much of a gamer. I had a hard time getting her to play Thieftown on the PS4 a few weeks ago, and that was one of the first video games I can remember ever seeing her play. That game only has six different buttons and four of them are movement.
The point is, she’s loving and supportive. I’ll start tea in the kitchen, forget about it or start an online game, and she’ll come in bringing it to me after having made it. I won’t have asked her, but she does it anyway. I feel a little bad, in fact, because I feel like if I do forget my tea she feels compelled to burden herself to finish it when she could instead yell at me from across the house or whatever to remind me. Of course, I’m very appreciative. She does so much unnecessary work I get exhausted just thinking about it.
I remember I used to draw her boats on Mother’s Day when I was little. She likes boats. As time passed and I became a writer, I started doing this. I even wrote her an Elizabethan sonnet a few years back. But one day and one gift does not compare to the hundreds and thousands of gifts our Moms give to us on an annual basis. No amount of words can convey how much she means to me, or how much I owe her, but if I don’t try then it implies I don’t care.
So, I’m lucky to have my Mom. She did her best raising me, and continues to teach me stuff on a regular basis. In fact I’m lucky to have my entire family. I’ve been on great terms with my entire family a good portion of my life, and a lot of that falls on her shoulders. You know you’re a good Mom when you can correctly raise six kids simultaneously. I don’t know how she managed.