An Ode to the Mothers of Nebo
Mothers make the world go round. They’re the ones who made Nebo come to life — literally. They brought us into this world, made sacrifices we couldn’t imagine and worked tirelessly to give us the things they never had. Without them, we wouldn’t be the talented designers, writers, marketers and humans that we are today.
And truth be told, our moms are also some of our most devoted blog readers.
They like and share like it’s their job. They leave lots of nice comments and fight off internet trolls (at least my mom did). And even though they’re still using Internet Explorer, they read entire blog posts about analytics — whatever that is — because they love us that much.
So this Mother’s Day, we’re honoring the moms of Nebo with a blog post all about them. We asked our employees to submit their favorite stories about their mothers. Some are touching, some are funny, and all of them remind us of why our moms are the best.
We included a few of these amazing stories below, but you can click here for the complete collection.
As a single mother, my mom was always scraping for cash. Every week, she would buy the Sunday paper and spend a dollar on a lotto ticket. One week, we dropped by the 7-Eleven to check our numbers and the clerk told her she’d won $60. My mom jumped up and down and started crying. Everyone in the store was sure she’d won the big one.
That day we took our cash to the pet store, bought a fish tank and filled it with brightly colored tetras, a hatchet fish named Mac and a trusty sucker fish I called Oscar. There were probably a lot more important things we could have done with that money, but my mom wanted her “Punkin” and “Brian Bear” to have pets of their own. From then on, whenever a fish expired, my mom would run out and buy a new one so we didn’t have to deal with the trauma of losing our fishy friends.
My mom is one of the best caretakers ever. She has an amazing level of energy and a wicked sense of humor.
And she loves to send me things in the mail.
A few years ago, following a holiday visit, I received an envelope in the mail from Mom. She sent it to me at work, so clearly this was super important.
Enclosed was a green Tic-Tac, carefully wrapped in a tissue. There was also a note from Mom: "It was wonderful having you home for Christmas! I found this in your room and thought you might need it. Love, Mom"
Of course, I called her immediately.
Me: Hey, I got your note in the mail today.
Mom: Oh good. Are you going to be okay?
Me: Ummmm ... yes. You mailed me a TIC-TAC.
Mom (laughing hysterically): Oh hell. I didn't have my glasses on and thought it was a birth control pill or something like that. Well, at least you'll be minty fresh at work.
This now a classic family story under the category of "stuff Mom did when she wasn't wearing her glasses."
Picture it: 2002. The age of TRL and low-slung jeans. I was 12 years old and desperately wanted to bedazzle my belly button like Britney Spears, so my mom took me to the local tattoo shop to inquire about belly button piercings. They told me I was too young and sent me home.
But my mom is not one to be stopped.
She went home, powered up AOL and placed an eBay bid on a professional piercing kit. She won the bid. A few days later she pulled on some latex gloves and pierced my belly button in my childhood bed. She did a better job than the tattoo parlor in Frankfort, Kentucky ever could.
All this to say: my mom always gave me the freedom to express myself, from belly button rings to JNCO jeans. She could have saved me from the jeans though. Thanks for nothing, Mom. Love you anyway.
In the 1980s sometime, my mom didn't want to pay extra to fly her dog on an airline. Her solution? Drug the dog, put it in an arm sling under a dark overcoat in July and smuggle it onto a commercial airline flight from Texas to Colorado. If anyone were to question her, the plan was to say she was pregnant and had a cold. Did this work? Yes.
She loved that dog too much.
In March of 1993 we had a huge blizzard. I was six years old and at a sleepover party, and in the morning, my mom came to get me. The house was maybe a mile away, but she came and got me because of the weather.
She was driving crazy slow on the way home, trying to navigate the heavy snow. As nervous as she was, she knew that if she showed it, I would have been twice as scared, so she told me jokes and had me tell her stories of the sleepover to keep me distracted.
We lived at the bottom of a hill, but to get there we had to go over the hill first. My mom’s tires were skidding like crazy and couldn't get traction, so we had to stop and walk.
My mom had thought ahead and brought my snow gear just in case, so she got me ready and we started the half-mile trek. Being six, I was exhausted and freezing. I remember my mom looking worried as she began to take off her heavy coat, scarf and mittens, leaving her in only her sweatshirt. She wrapped me up in her gear and kept walking, telling me jokes to keep my mind off of things.
When we finally made it back to the house, she got me unbundled and warmed up, still soaking wet from the snow. Only after I was back to normal did my mom start to warm herself up. I remember seeing her hunched towards the fireplace in a blanket, still just laughing and telling me terrible mom jokes. She never let me see how cold she really was.
Her tactic of mom jokes persists to this day. Whenever she can tell I've had a bad day or something is off, she goes on to do her five-minute stand-up. Sometimes the jokes don't land, but there is always something medicinal there.
This is less of a story and more of an ode to mi madre.
My mom quite literally has the biggest heart ever. Like, dangerously large. About 10 years ago, she found a colony of feral cats in our neighborhood and started feeding them every day. The colony expanded and moved around over the years, and is now a collection of small groups of cats spread across an office park and apartment complex. She's fed those furry lil’ creatures every day since then, rain or shine. She's trapped, fixed and released at least 15 cats and has taken in a similarly dangerous amount (usually under the guise of "fostering").
Her kindness doesn't just extend to cats, though! A couple of months ago, she ran into a homeless family at the gas station and proceeded to take them — a mother, three kids and two dogs — to Kroger for a mini shopping spree before driving them 30 minutes to a hotel in Norcross. The woman is seriously her own non-profit organization.
She's also one of the most unintentionally funny people ever. She saw the movie Step Brothers and really latched onto "Boats and Hoes." She came with my friends and me on spring break in high school and stood on the balcony of our house shouting "boats and hoes!" at anyone she vaguely recognized.
Growing up, my mom was the hardest worker I know. She worked the night shift, she worked overtime for extra pay, and she did that for her three kids. She did it so she could buy them the things she didn't have growing up. Even when not on the clock, she was washing dishes, vacuuming and even mowing the lawn (all in high heels, I might add). And more often than not, we weren't very appreciative.
When it comes to the innate challenge of motherhood, I often think of the following passage written by Kurt Vonnegut:
"She upset Billy simply by being his mother. She made him feel embarrassed and ungrateful and weak because she had gone to so much trouble to give him life, and to keep that life going, and Billy didn't really like life at all."
There is an inherent truth in that passage. Our moms become the focus of our frustration simply by the fact they exist, and that they brought us into this world. A baby is defenseless when born. For the first months of its life, a mom and dad put their entire lives on hold simply to keep it alive. There is no way to ever pay back that essential debt that we are born into.
There is no handbook to being a mom. Parenthood is nothing more than a series of mistakes that you hope don't permanently damage your child. Each child is different, and the circumstances in which you raise them are often out of your control. But the beauty of parenthood is that it is often the setbacks, the challenges and the mistakes you make that help turn your child into a capable and remarkable adult.
No mom is perfect. My mom wasn't. I'm sure she looks back and has a list of things she wishes she could change about each and every one of the childhoods of her three children. But if she changed those things, we wouldn't be the people we are today.
The Complete Collection of Our Ode to Nebo Moms
In the spirit of making it a little easier on our readers (and to give a keepsake to Nebo moms), we created a downloadable version of all of the stories that we collected. Happy Mother's Day! We love you!