On the Corner

Mom’s a model

by Robert Docter – 

She struts down the runway of life modeling a lifestyle worth living. There’s a strength of character about her that spreads like a sweet perfume wafting through the landscape of lives around her. She seems totally unaware of the power of her presence. She generates love in quiet, quick conversations, in lengthy relationships, with unpleasant people in pain. All are equal in her sight. She trusts people—almost to a fault.

She showers altruistic energy to a point of exhaustion. She models what is right, has a consistent ethic and grants to those around her the most precious gift a parent can provide—freedom.

She’s a model mom.
How did she ever get that way? Almost unconsciously, I suspect. Generational learning played a big part. She adopted certain behaviors, attitudes, values and expectations she had observed when growing up and rejected others. She became aware of the effect her behavior and her non-verbal communication had on her children—the way she moved, the way she hugged, her tone of voice, the look on her face. She sensed that these messages were significant and powerful.

Humans learn in many ways. Children occupy many classrooms in their journey through life, but the most important classroom is in the home. This is the primary place civilization, culture, and human-building take place. In this classroom parents are the teachers, and “team” teaching is required. The maternal figure, however, is key.

One way we all learn is through observation—vicariously. When we observe others carefully and hold the image of that behavior in our minds, if we choose, we can begin to reproduce it. We take what was modeled for us and begin to make it our own. Parents model something almost every minute of the day—even when submerged in a television program.

What we model for our children helps shape them as human beings. Through modeling, children “catch” values, attitudes, beliefs and expectations. These qualities are not “taught” explicitly but learned implicitly through the modeling we project on life’s runway. People take on the behavior of those to whom they choose to attend—those with whom they choose to associate.

Often, they call her “mom” or some derivative of the word—these magnificent off-springs who make their way to the family home with spouses and children to help the model mom celebrate “her day.”

On this Mother’s Day, someone looks in the kitchen where the model mom worked, even on her day. He thinks a moment, and then asks others at the table how they might describe the way mom is—how she contributes to their lives. Reports come quickly: “She gives me confidence—a sense of security—an understanding of the meaning of life—a way of being with people—caring for others—and on and on.

Then one daughter says: “She’s always patient—always kind—never seems envious of others—never boasts about herself.”

Recognizing the source, others join —“no false pride—never rude or self-seeking—always slow to anger—never keeps a record of wrongs—never keeps score.”

Somebody grabs a Bible and continues—“She abhors evil and delights in truth—always protects, always trusts, always hopes—and she never gives up.”

Someone says: “Yep—it fits mom perfectly—she’s just like love.”
The daughter who started replies: “True—for me—she is love.”

To find one’s self in such a room is to be touched by the qualities of a life fully shared.
The model mom gives each of us a springboard that catapults us confidently into life’s challenges, tragedies, worries, successes and demonstrates for us how to handle each. She gives us the risk-taking security to try because we know she would never stand in negative judgment of the results.

There are a whole bundle of model moms out there. None of them are perfect, but the model mom’s spirit seems to have a closer God connection.
I know—I married one of them.

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