By Erin Malcolm
In honor of this Mother’s Day, local moms in the community shared their Mother’s Day and mom-life stories, from favorite gifts to laughable mishaps and all of the sweet moments in between.
While Leslie Sheley was pregnant with her only son, Wyatt, she craved peas. An insatiable craving, she would open up a can of peas and eat the whole thing in one sitting. After her son was born and as he grew up, she often told him of the hankering for peas she had while he was in her belly. One Mother’s Day, when the little boy was around 5 years old, his grandpa took him shopping to find a Mother’s Day present for his mommy. And during a pit stop at the grocery store, Wyatt found the perfect gift.
Leslie said, ‘Wyatt came around the corner holding a couple cans of peas and said, ‘This is my present for my mom.’ And my dad said, ‘Oh no, we can go to a different store to find a real present.’ To which Wyatt said, ‘Oh no no no, my mom loves peas.’”
So, reluctantly, the boy’s grandfather drove him home, helped him wrap the pea present, and let him give it to mom.
As she opened what she still considers her favorite Mother’s Day gift of all time, her excited reaction of, “PEAS! Wyatt, you remembered I like peas!” was all the confirmation the young boy needed to turn to his grandpa and give him a proud look that said, ‘I told you so,’ without saying anything at all.
Mom the track star
“Be careful of the stories you tell your kids,” said Paula Wheeler, a mom of two. Especially the ones about the old glory days, she warned, as “they might actually believe you and then tell other people about your stories.”
When her son, Jalen, was in high school, she would drive him to a football training program at a local gym a couple times per week. While Jalen worked out with the trainer and other teenage football players, Paula would walk on the treadmill to pass the time.
She said, “One day, the trainer walked over to me and said, ‘Your son is telling me you were once a track star.’” Not thinking anything of it, she answered “yes” and the trainer’s response was to then hit the “stop” button on her treadmill and instruct her to follow him, without saying another word. She figured he just wanted her help correcting the kids’ form or timing their sprints, but became curious when she noticed all of the boys chuckling to each other as she walked toward them.
“The trainer made all of us, including me, lay on our stomachs in the parking lot. When he said ‘ready, set, go’ we were to jump up and sprint down the parking lot about 50 yards. As I laid there with boys half my age, I thought, ‘Oh no. I did not sign up for this.’ As I peeled myself up off the asphalt and took off running, I realized I did still have it, and beat some of those boys. Not all of them, but a few,” she said.
Chocolate covered … never mind
Paula Wheeler’s mother-in-law, Anna Wheeler, said she is a lover of thoughtful surprises.
One Mother’s Day years ago, Paula and her husband, Jason, surprised his mom by having chocolate-covered strawberries shipped by a delivery service to her home. But, living in a more rural part of town can make deliveries tricky, so the sweet treat never made it to her door; instead, it was left in the blazing sun on the street at the gate in front of her property.
“It sat out there most of the day and all the chocolate melted off of the strawberries completely,” Anna said.
She thanked her son and daughter-in-law for the thoughtful gesture and to this day, has never told them about the mishap … until now, when they read this article.
Spit shine from your sister
Lori Hepworth Wilson is a mom to two daughters she described as sweet, funny, smart and a little bit sassy.
One of her all-time favorite motherhood memories is from a sisterly bonding moment between her daughters when the youngest one was only a couple of days old. Big Sister holding Baby Sister — what a sweet moment for a mom to see, right?
That is, until she noticed that her newborn’s hair was suddenly extremely wet and stuck down all over her head. “I asked my oldest why her sister’s hair was wet, and she told me that she gave her a bath,” Lori said. What her daughter really meant by “bath” was that she licked her hands and rubbed them all over her sister’s hair.
“Nothing like a little spit shine from your sister,” Lori said.
Handpicked with a side of toothpaste
Chantel Richardson is another mama who is a sucker for the simple joys of motherhood, all while embracing the crazy fun that comes with raising young boys.
One of her favorite Mother’s Day memories happened during a mini-vacation in the mountains while she was pregnant with her second child.
“We were spending time out in nature and I was very, very pregnant at the time,” Chantel recalled. Her oldest, who was 4 years old at the time, sprinted up to her, so excited to reveal his gift: a handful of purple, yellow and blue flowers that he picked from the dirt all by himself.
“He said, ‘Mommy, I got these for you.’ And it made my heart just burst with love. No one prompted him to do it — he just wanted to make his mommy feel special,” she said.
And it did. “It made me feel like the luckiest mom in the world.”
However, like in every family out there, it’s not purple, yellow and blue flowers every day. Some days, it’s toothpaste.
Her youngest son, who was 2 years old at the time of this story, gave his mom a scare when one day he got lost in the house. “I was only downstairs for maybe two minutes. And when I came back up, I couldn’t find him anywhere. I searched every room,” she said. “Eventually, I checked the pitch-black bathroom and found him in the sink chomping down on blue toothpaste — with no clothes on.”