Chicken Scratchin’s: Dear Mom …

Dear Mom,

Betty Williams - 1963

My mom, Betty Williams, hard at work being a mom in 1963.

Thank you for being my mom. I know I didn’t ever say I love you enough. We hardly ever saw eye to eye on anything and were complete opposites. But you certainly helped make me be the person I am today. And now that you have been gone for eight years I think that we were more alike than either of us wanted to admit.

You taught me family was the most important thing in the world. Of course, it was your life. You were a stay-at-home mom. In fact, all moms stayed at home when I was a kid.  And at our house it was a huge job with five kids that came in all sizes.  Not to mention the dog, cat, fish, hamster, parakeet, mice and whatever else we dragged home. You took care of all us. Not because you had to, but because you wanted to.

At times I doubted your child-raising skills, like when the neighbor came over to complain about the mud balls plastered on the side of his house. You defended my honor only until you found the garden hose and mud puddle between our houses. And then you turned into a prison warden, confining me to my room until my father came home from work. I thought you were so unreasonable. Of course the neighbor kid had been taunting me from his bedroom window, but you didn’t even consider that piece of evidence. You just yelled at me saying I knew better than that.

And there was the issue with me wanting a Tonka truck instead of the Thumbelina doll that was wrapped up so nicely. The boys were outside running and playing, and I didn’t want to waste my time playing with dolls. We had stick horses to ride and Indians to pursue. That was how I broke my brand new front tooth when I was six. My gun hit my mouth while we were playing Lone Ranger. Once again I was in trouble because of course this had to happen after the baby teeth were gone.

Sometimes you shaped me by letting me do things even if you knew the outcome wouldn’t be great. Like in fifth grade when I brought home the class mouse for the summer. You agreed as long as I would take care of it. Before the summer ended you had gotten rid of the mouse. I was devastated, but by the time sixth grade started, I probably didn’t even remember the mouse. Once again you were right.

We argued about everything. When I turned into a rebellious teen, you stood your ground while I stood mine. I wasn’t going to live my life like yours and you drew the line that I crossed. But you were right. Life was about love, respect and honor. You welcomed me back like I had never left. I learned many things the hard way and that was hard on you. You just wanted the best for all of us.

You made a commitment to your family and never let us down. You were always our mom and did what needed to be done because it was for us.

One of my favorite times with you was at the interstate fishing pond. You took us kids fishing without dad, and we had a great adventure. I still remember you trying with all of your might to pull in a good-sized channel cat. The fish got away but the image of you standing in the pond all excited is one of my favorite memories.

I had a great mom. I love you, Mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!


williams_jan_1Jan Williams is a farm girl, but was raised in a town. She has finally gotten back to where she thinks she belongs – in the country. She occasionally shares some of her rural experiences with a side of Chicken Scratchin’s. She lives in rural Osage County, Kansas, with a husband, a dog, a cat and seven chickens.

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