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  • Writer's pictureToni Wilbarger

My Unconventional Mom

Since Mother's Day is here, I thought I'd tell you about my unconventional mom. I think advertisers and many people out there remember their moms as the traditional bake-chocolate-chip-cookies-and-kiss-your-boo-boos kind. Those rosy visions are wonderful and nostalgic, inspiring gifts of flowers, perfume, and jewelry.

But my mom hates to cook. People think I'm mean when I say mom is a bad cook, but she's the first one to laugh and agree with me. And as for kissing my boo-boos, well, she may have done that when I was tiny, but I remember things more this way:

Me: "Mom, I'm sick. I need to stay home from school."

Mom: "Are you throwing up?"

Me: "No."

Mom: "Are you bleeding?"

Me: "No."

Mom (feeling my forehead): "Do you have a fever?"

Me (knowing where this was going): "No."

Mom: "Then you're going to school."

When my sister and I were learning softball, Mom told us about how she played baseball with the boys from her neighborhood. Mom also coached bowling, and she taught us how to bowl as well. (My sister was her star pupil, rolling a perfect game as an adult!) Mom also took up golfing as an adult.

As I approached the teen years, there were times I wanted to hide from everyone because my acne seemed to sprout in uncontrollable waves. Mom had the best advice ever: "Let me tell you something. We all look in the mirror and notice every pimple, every scar. But as a rule, people don't see those things when they look at you. If you don't draw attention to it, they'll never notice."

In my early teen years, my interest in writing took off. I remember scribbling a page or two and yelling, "Hey, Mom, read this!" She'd ask if I had completed it. I'd say no and then she'd tell me she would read it when I finished. I'll admit I was disappointed, but I went back to my table and worked at it until it was done. I owe a lot to her because she taught me not just to start writing, but to FINISH. (Today, she complains if she hasn't read my latest creations!)

My mom collects figurines of apples, hummingbirds, and bells. She gets a kick out of funny greeting cards. She loves dogs and REALLY loves jewelry (she and I sometimes compare to see who has the most, lol). She loves stuffed animals, saying, "I'll never grow up." And, like many other moms, my mom loves her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids a whole bunch.

Many of my friends have lost their moms, so I feel especially grateful to God that mine is still here and still spunky. I don't say it much but thanks, Mom, for being the best mom for me.

Happy Mother's Day!

Until next time,


62 views1 comment



Pearl Allard
Pearl Allard

Tony, this was awesome! I’m glad there’s a great mom out there that also hates cooking! Lol Your mom sounds like an amazing woman! Thanks so much for sharing this - I really enjoyed reading it!

Sandy Beach

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