So I'm reaching back into the ol' memory bank for today's tale about my mom. My mom passed away more than five years ago, but definitely still hangs around in the stories my family tells, in some of my facial expressions and, if the corner of my eye is to be believed, in the house we live in (although perhaps that's a story for another time...)
One of my favorite stories about my mom is one I told at her memorial service because it sums up her and her parenting style so well. My mom loved water guns. Loved them. And had tons of them. We didn't give her gift certificates for pedicures or flowers for Mother's Day-- we gave her Super Soakers.
And having enough water guns around the house for everyone naturally led to some epic battles. We would turn on the hoses at the back and front of the house, divide up the weaponry, give everyone a chance to fill up their gun and then race around the yard trying to soak, but not be soaked. And in the midst of these armed kids would be my mom, giving it just as good as she got (to this day, I'm not sure there's anything more satisfying than soaking an adult and not getting in trouble...)
For one battle-- one that my mom sat out in order to work in the yard-- things got a little out of hand. People were soaked but then feelings were hurt and someone ran inside in a huff. And that's when someone (my brother and sister say it was me, but I'll never admit it) dragged the hose into the house to threaten them. And that certain someone may have actually turned the hose on in the house and soaked the front hallway from floor to ceiling. That someone may then have been afraid their short life was about to end.
That's when my mom walked into the house, stopped short when she saw the water dripping down the walls, looked at her sorry-looking kids... and then, rather than handing out the punishment we knew we deserved, she grabbed the closest water gun and chased us out of the house with her squirting us from behind. And that was the day I escaped death (and discovered just how awesome my mom was in the process).