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My Mom and a Good Heart

April 29, 2011

I was sitting in an orphanage in Mexico about six years ago when one o f the little boys asked me what is was like to have a mom and a dad. I couldn’t believe that someone would ask me this so I didn’t know what to say. Luckily the subject was changed by someone else and I didn’t have to answer him. What does someone in high school, without much life experience, say to something like that? It’s much harder for someone who hasn’t paid a bill, done their own laundry, or had responsibilities to describe. Now at 23, I think I am better prepared to answer that question. While at times my dad played the “Mr. Mom” role, I will save writing about him for another day, after all Mother’s Day is next week.

We all remember that time of the year when May hits and the class project was to make something for our beloved mom; things we thought she would cherish forever, and now we can’t even remember what it was we made all those years ago. One year when I was in high school, I decided to turn the class vase project into a gift for my mom. I made three different bowls on the wheel, put them together and painted MOM on the side of it. My teacher wouldn’t give me credit it for it because it had something other than my initials painted on the side of it, so I had to make another. To be honest, I am still a little mad about that but my mom really enjoyed it and I remade another one to get a passing grade so everything worked out in the end.

Lindy and her mom

My mom and I have had a typical relationship; rocky through high school and early college, but now we get along great. She visited in early April and I could hardly contain myself the few weeks leading up to her visit. We made use of our museum passes and visited Balboa Park, made a trip up to Julian and ate at any place my dad wouldn’t thoroughly appreciate. When it came time for her to go home, it was hard but I did enjoy getting back to normal life.

Now that the time has arrived, what do we get dear Mom for Mothers day? How can we repay her for all those nights spent comforting us because something went wrong in our lives and those soothing words she told us to make it all better. All those pages she proof read so that you could get an A on the paper or times she left work early so she could be at your game or school event. Sure we can try to appreciate her by getting flowers, chocolates, cards, or gift sets, but will that ever truly be the best way to repay her, probably not. I think the only way to repay the beautiful woman who brought us in the world, is to do our best to make her proud. I know many of us might think that means getting a good job, big salary, not landing in jail, etc. And while yes, that might make her proud, those are not the parts that matter the most. It involves passing on her good parenting traits (or not passing on her bad ones too), making it through tough situations to become a better person, being respectful, and having a good heart. Of anything the last one is the most important.

Have a good heart: This Mother’s Day I want to challenge you to show her that. Pick a project to volunteer at, or an organization to donate to and do it in her honor. It not only shows how much you love her but also how her love has flowed through you and into somebody else. While Volunteer San Diego has hundreds of opportunities to volunteer, we have two specifically designed for Mother’s Day: Make a Mother SmileFlower Delivery and Store Help. Volunteer San Diego has been asked by Flowers by Coley to find volunteers to help in their store and deliver flowers before Mother’s Day. In turn, Flowers by Coley will donate money back to VSD. It is the perfect opportunity to help VSD out while making some local moms smile.

So six years later, what would my answer be to that little boy? Having a mom (and a dad) is so much more than what you can put into words. It’s a never-ending love and appreciation. It’s stressful, exciting, comforting, and exhilarating all rolled up into one big package. It is learning life’s lessons from someone who has been through it all. Most importantly, having a mom (and dad) is about giving; giving back, giving love, giving life, giving hope.

Happy Mother’s Day!

P.S.  I love you mom!

– Lindy Capps, Volunteer Relations Coordinator
AmeriCorps VIP

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