Like the time I jumped on my bed when I was five.
High. Higher. Highest.
Jumping high enough to touch the ceiling.
I only stopped jumping when I heard my mom call down the hallway, "Are you jumping on your bed?"
I answered, "No. No. Of course not. I know I'm not allowed to do that, because I might fly off the bed and bust my head open."
She walked into the room, asking, "Are you SURE you weren't jumping on your bed?"
I reaffirmed my no.
And then she sat on my bed, and said, "I can see your mirror from the hallway, and I saw you jumping on the bed. You are in serious trouble. You are in trouble because you jumped on the bed when you knew that was against the rules, but you are in serious trouble because you lied to me."
My mom didn't scream, or freak out, or hit me, but her quiet words were powerful.
"Tell me the truth, no matter what might happen. You will always be in more trouble because of the lie."
I quickly understood that lying would always make a situation worse.
But there is another moment that I think about a lot. Especially once I became a mother.
When I was seven years old, there was a day when I tested all the limits. My mom and I were out shopping and running errands, and I did just about every thing I knew I was not supposed to do in the store. And in the car. And in the next store. And when we had to stop by her office for a few minutes. And in the car on the way home.
It was a nightmare of a day.
When we finally arrived home, and stood in the living room, I knew I had pushed her too far.
She was angry. So very angry.
I had not listened or obeyed her all day, and she was at her breaking point.
So, naturally, I responded as any little seven year-old hooligan would, and smarted off to her. Standing my ground, and yelling.
It was at this moment that things could have gotten really bad. News story at five kind of bad. But it didn't. Because the next words out of her mouth were spoken very quietly and firmly, "You need to go to your room until I calm down."
"What?" I was a little confused.
But she only took a deep breath, and said, "We are going to deal with everything that happened today; but right now I am very angry, and you need to go to your room until I calm down."
I did exactly that. Quietly and quickly.
And it was a long wait in my seven year-old world. Probably an hour at least.
I don't remember what my eventual punishment was, but I know I deserved every bit of it. The punishment wasn't what stayed with me, but those simple words from my mom were a lesson I've never forgotten.
"Go to your room until I calm down."
I always think of that moment when I hit my own breaking point.
I think of how much strength it took for my mom to not hand down a punishment in a moment of anger, but to calm down first.
That is the kind of mom, the kind of person, I want to be.
Just like my mom.
What lessons did you learn from how your mom mothered you?
*Linking up with Shell for Pour Your Heart Out.