To My Mother, Other Mothers and Future Mothers
When I was a child, my mother would be gone in the late hours of the evening, but she would return with the delightful treasure wrapped in a napkin known as council meeting cookies. Those were always the best cookies because you knew that when she put them in her purse, she was thinking of you.
When I was a youngin’ I spent many days sitting in a UW classroom with a pile of crayons. She was going to school to complete her Bachelor degree. We’d take the bus into Seattle and it was always an adventure. I’m pretty sure she hated every second of it. Just ask her, I was a handful.
She completed that degree focused on Geology and Forest Conservation. When I graduated from high school with my associate’s degree, we had a co-graduation party. She graduated from the University of Washington with her Masters in Policy Studies. She did that while dealing with me as a teenager. You can only imagine what I was like in my teens. I was still a handful.
She was also a volunteer of epic proportions. Just google “Corinne Hensley + Woodinville”. You’ll understand what I grew up with. She was a master of land use codes. She was a thorn in the side for King and Snohomish County. She’d lose some battles, but she’d win some as well. She did this for years and eventually with the losing battle of Brightwater, it was time to throw in the towel.
My mother retired to Spokane, the land where she grew up, to tend to her Farmville. Years of volunteerism caught up with her and the relaxing pace of Spokane what was in store. My mother went to Lewis and Clark High School. Class of ’74. Originally Corinne Gallup. She drove Harry Belafonte around Spokane during Expo ’74. She was a band geek. She rode her bike everywhere. She ran off to Washington State University in Pullman, met my father, Eric Hensley. They dropped out, got married. She wore a beautiful sun hat on her wedding day at the Unitarian church on 29th & Bernard.
Looking back, only now do I realize how much my Mother did, for me and her community. She’s been the best proofreader I’ve ever known. Even when I’m not asking for it, she’ll blatantly tell me my spelling and grammar is awful. She cooks up the best scrambled eggs in the world. She introduced me to the art of cooking. She taught what kind of bacon I liked. Not crispy. She made waffles in the morning fun. She made breakfast for dinner the best thing in the world. I think every child goes through this realization that their mother’s did so much for them.
It takes years to see it from a perspective that’s not skewed. Mothers are some of those most amazing people in the world. They’re compassionate but sturdy. They can swing a kid over their shoulder, while on the phone and cooking a grilled cheese sandwich at the same time… without burning it.
Mother’s Day next year will be fun for my family. Without saying anything, let’s just say it will be fun for a new mother. (Disclaimer: not me!) I’ll get to write another blog entry in dedication to two mothers in my life. I can’t wait for that moment. Maybe because then I’ll be able to get rid of all my childhood stuff animals and toys stored in boxes without guilt. In other words, I think mothers are the best. They have the best sense of humor. They’ve seen it all. Nothing phases them. Go call your mother or another mother you know in your life and tell them they rock.