There was little to no fooling around back then, which I understand now (funny how that works), because she had three kids to keep in line. And let's be honest, my brothers weren't winning any Precious Angel awards.
My mom is the human equivalent of a lioness. She gave birth to us and took great care of us, but on any given day, depending on our behavior, it was entirely possible she would eat us and start over with new cubs.
Maybe that, above all else, is what I love about my mom. Growing up with Charlotte taught us how to be strong and not take any shit from anyone, not even our parents!
But I remembered how she and I would team up to derail my dad's best efforts to keep a tight schedule on vacations. He's very task oriented. Likes to make lists and stick to them. Mom and I like to explore (oftentimes gift shops). As my interest in photography grew, it became a real challenge to get him to stop the car if I wanted to get a shot. My mom knew I'd often want to stop but that I probably wouldn't speak up in time.
It may come as a surprise, but I don't like to make waves or be a bother. Thankfully my mother has no issue yelling "JOE! STOP THE DAMN CAR! WE WANT TO TAKE PICTURES!" However, the price to pay for using my mother to get my dad to stop the car was me having to run over and stand next to whatever monument or natural wonder for her picture.
Then there was the time we took a road trip through the northern states to visit the Glacier National Park system. I was too young & didn't have a license, so my parents took turns driving. My dad slept in the back and mom and I were up front. We were listening to a Sylvia Johns tape and her rendition of Peter Gunn came on, so my mother started working the gas pedal in time to the music. We laughed while watching my dad's sleeping head bob back & forth in the back seat. He finally woke up and yelled "Charlotte! That wreaks havoc on the gas mileage!"
And the cooking - almost forgot about the cooking. My childhood palate didn't appreciate her Julia Child-inspired meals, but helping her in the kitchen gave me my love of cooking & baking, especially experimenting and making up recipes as I go.
I guess there's a lot I love about my mom. I was raised by a lioness.
Happy Mother's Day mom. I love you.