Sunday is Mother’s Day, and in honor of my mother and families everywhere, I’m re-publishing my “Tale of Five Sisters” page. It’s a glimpse into my childhood with four sisters and a mother who is our touchstone and our heart. Here’s to her and to mothers everywhere. Thank you for all you do!
“A Tale of Five Sisters”
I have four sisters. Yeah, I know. I don’t know what my parents were thinking, either. They look so young and innocent, don’t they?
Actually, we all blame Dad. He had that “I Want A Boy” syndrome that drives women to drink. After five daughters, though, even the old man had to give it up. I don’t know how my parents survived it. Well, Dad was in sales and the Bass Club of America, so he was away a lot when I was little. In truth, I don’t know how Mom did it. I’m not even sure how some of us girls survived it (especially the teen years).
Growing up, we were naturally divided into two groups – the “big kids” and the “little kids.” Sister #1 and I (yes, I am #2 – keep your comments to yourself, Peanut Gallery) were the big kids.
We were born 15 months apart, and grew up with that “we were friends first” bond that first siblings share. Sister #3 came along almost 4 years later and started the “little kid” explosion. Every 18 months or so, Mom gave birth to yet another girl. We started to think she was in the “Baby of the Year” Club, like the Weekly Reader program, but for infants. What can I say? Mom’s initials as a kid were M.O.M. – she should have seen this coming.
She finally threw in the towel at 5 daughters, and who could blame her. Not to be graphic, but do you realize how many feminine hygiene products that woman had to buy over the years? It’s insane! She should have invested in Kimberly Clark and Midol. Dad invested in MGD (Miller Genuine Draft) and fishing gear. That was his escape. But we made it. We all made it through.
Years have passed now and we all have families of our own. It amazes me that we all grew up in the same house with the same parents and yet we all are different and unique. I like that about us. We all have different interests and tastes. We all had different experiences in school and participated in different activities. We had separate interests and hobbies. We played different sports or practiced different arts. We picked completely different types of men as spouses (or no spouse at all). We all raised our children differently. And yet, we all click when we come together. All those differences are like pieces of a worn, favorite puzzle. All that diversity makes us all fit. I still don’t know how my Mom pulled it off, but she raised five smart, independent, creative girls who love to laugh. Sarcasm and humor are part of our DNA. It’s our coping mechanism. When we’re together, hilarity always ensues.
In closing, I’d like to say “thanks, Mom!” You are our rock and our foundation. You taught us to cook, clean, sew, do laundry and dishes, fish, dig a camp toilet, fend for ourselves, pay our bills and be fiercely independent. You showed us how to use common sense to solve life’s challenges. You taught us to love things like coupons, greenstamps, Tupperware, chocolate, fresh vegetables from a garden, homemade jelly, handmade quilts and antiques. You also helped us find the humor in everyday life, and that’s really important. Thanks for being honest with us when we screw up and cheering for us when we soar.
For good or bad, you left an indelible mark on the world when you unleashed the five of us. Sorry, world. No take-backs!
133 responses to “In Honor of Mother’s Day”
I love your photos. There’s nothing like maxi-dresses from the 70s! What a lovely tribute to your mother.
Thanks, Beth. I call that photo the “Holly Hobby Money Shot.” The best part about the maxi-dresses is that our mother made all of them. She is an awesome seamstress, and she made most of our clothes back then. Unfortunately, she always made sure we matched. It was fun when we were all little, but around the age of 12 or so the cute wore off! At least we have some great photos to remind us of the good ol’ days.
I had a purple one — a prized possession due to the color. My mom probably still has a picture of me in it someplace. :-)
I definitely agree!
What a lovely post, I always love looking at your pictures and hearing your tales.
The only thing I have left to say is…NUMBER TWO!!!!!! (*Snicker, snicker*)
Hahahahahahaha*snort*! I knew someone would do it, so it might as well have been you, Kandi! I can’t even fight back! It’s true. I’m #2. But from the fertilizer comes the roses, baby! Chalk one up for “Team Glass-Half-Full”!
your post is funny, its good you all click.
yeah, sarcasm and humor is definitely in your DNA, I could feel it too.
What a nice tribute to your mom! Jeanne you rock. I love to read your blog. Pat
Thanks, Pat! Happy Mother’s Day to you, my friend.
What a great tribute to your mother. But seriously…the Holly Hobby Money Shot?! That made me laugh/snort/hiccup simultaneously, which I never knew was possible.
Happy Mother’s Day to you, Jeanne.
Sorry if I made you snort chai tea out your nose, but how awesome is that?
Back atcha, Kirsten. I hope you have a very special Mother’s Day with your 4 boys.
…and she undoubtedly instilled in you a wicked fashion sense. Check out the dresses on the “little kids”! (she types, while stifling the memories of her own Holly Hobby dress from the ’70s…)
This really is a beautiful tribute. Happy Mother’s Day, indeed…
Thank you so much, Mikalee. I appreciate it! Thanks for taking the time to read & comment.
Awww! So sweet! Actually brought a tear to my eye.
Congrats!!! Just saw your post on the freshly pressed blog list this morning!!
I’m so happy for you! Happy early Mother’s Day!
Thanks, Katie! I had no idea until I opened my e-mail and saw the comments.
It’s very exciting. I have to call my Mom and tell her! Happy Mother’s Day to you, too.
I hope you, Bugaboo, GQ and Man-Child have a wonderful weekend.
your mom looks a bit like jackie o. :)
This makes me think of my wife, who have five sisters no brothers. No they didn’t want a boy. But they were divided into the big and little camps. Great post!
Beautiful tribute! I grew up in a house with 3 girls and that was crazy enough! Can’t imagine adding 2 more to the mix. Sisters are the best, aren’t they? :)
When I was little, I used to ask if we could trade the “little kids” in for one brother. I thought it was a great 3-for-1 deal back then. It makes me laugh just thinking about trying to make that trade as a youngster. Now that we’re grown, I wouldn’t trade my sisters for anything!
Beautiful post that fits perfectly for Mother’s Day! :)
Your mother was (and is!) beautiful! You are so lucky to have a large family, and so many sisters. I am an only child, and feel I am really missing out in life not having siblings.
Did you know your blog is the first one on the wordpress.com page??? I was so excited when I went to sign in this morning. :) I love this post. You have quite a glamorous mom!
I didn’t know until I opened my e-mail this morning and saw all the comments. I was stunned. Very pleasantly stunned. Thanks for your support, Alex!
I loved this post! Your mom is gorgeous, I love that last photo of her!
Love this post! It’s very genuine. Your mom would definitely be proud! :)
Beautiful mom, beautiful kids and a very beautiful post! <3 Heartwarming. I want to thank you for putting a smile on my face and making my eyes somewhat damp. :')
I come from a big family too, so we beak ourselves up into the older ones and the younger ones too. Great post!
I love the pictures!!!! Great blog
Fresh Pressed drew me in .. your writing keeps me. Wonderful!
My favorite? “Dad invested in MGD (Miller Genuine Draft) and fishing gear.” HA HA HA .. can so see it.
Happy Mother’s day indeed – please be sure to share the honours with your Mom… ;) MJ
Thanks, MJ. I appreciate it! I will be sure to pass along your well wishes to my mom.
Speaking of… loved the photo of you and your mom having a cold one in Branson!
Great photo of the two of you together. Cheers to your Mom, too!
Aaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwww! I love, love, love the pics! God bless your MOTHER! I have 2 brothers & 1 sister and we have similar pics. so thanks for the memories!
PS, Happy Mothers Day!!
The photos take it all to a whole new level. Brilliant. : ))
Thank you, Ken. That means a lot coming from a man who writes poetry for children and donates books to promote literacy. You’re pretty brilliant yourself!
Beautiful tribute. You are lucky women! I have three sisters and can’t imagine how my father survived. Put two more in the mix and whew! Your parents are saints!
Thank you, Jessie. I agree that I’m a lucky girl to have 4 sisters and a beautiful mom – and that we all get along and love each other! Very lucky, indeed. Speaking of lucky… that photo of your ranch on your blog header is spectacular. I would SO love to visit for a hike and a cocktail! It’s very nice to meet you.
What a nice tribute to your mother and a wonderfully written post. Your parents were a handsome couple and brought into the world 5 beautiful girls!
What a beautiful tribute to your mother.
In our house, my sister and I (who are 16 months apart) grew up with my mother, her mother, and my dad. Four women and one man. I give any man a lot of credit for surviving such a ratio!
Loved the post, loved the pictures — thanks for sharing!
Hoping my two girls end up sweet and lovely friends when all the chips finally fall where they’re going to! Right now they are 19 months and 5 months. Big Princess thinks Little Angel is her personal baby – to diaper, give toys to, undress, and generally play with. Too bad Little Angel won’t need that sort of help by the time Big Princess is actually able to really help!
I smiled when I read this comment!
What a great read and beautiful photos, thanks for sharing!
What a lovely blog – love the wedding picture – so glamorous.
I enjoyed this post!
Sounds a lot like my mom’s life except she was the oldest of five girls and yes one boy, though he was number three so not too bad. I told my husband that if we have three girls in a row then we are done!
What a great memory and a great way to honor your mother! I believe that all mothers are heroes in some way, and deserves the recognition that you that you put toward yours.
I grew up the middle of 5 sisters. And my dad had that same syndrome. So much so that as the girls kept coming, our names became more boyish, Judy, Mary, Pat(ricia, that’s me), Rob(erta), and then there was Sam. Yes, Sam. Not Samantha. Just Sam. A few years later, when Sam was starting school, Dad added the name Helen to her birth certificate. We also have the big-little divide, except that we called the little ones ‘The Babies’ but not in a derogatory way but because they went everywhere together in one of those giant-sized prams. The Babies referred to us as ‘the girls’, because we were usually the ones pushing that giant sized pram all over the place, back in a day when it was safe for a group of little girls to walk around the neighbourhood.
Congrats on the FP and thanks for kick-starting some really wonderful memories about sisters on mother’s day.
Hello Patricia! It’s nice to meet another “one of five sisters” woman. I love that your names got more boyish as each of you were born. In our family, we were all given middle names beginning with the letter J – Jan, Jeanne, Jane, Jill & Jo. And I remember those days when we could all run the streets until dark without having to worry about anything. Those carefree days were wonderful. Thanks for dropping in and commenting. I really appreciate it. I hope you have a very happy Mother’s Day!
such a wonderful post…i enjoyed it
What a great post. It was just me and my brother growing up and I always wanted sisters! I made my best girlfriend be my sister, and she still is 60 years later.
That’s so sweet, Angeline. It’s wonderful that you’re still so close after 60 years of friendship and sisterhood. And you make a great point. We don’t have to be born siblings to share that bond. I have several very close girlfriends that I think of as my sisters, as well. Thanks for taking the time to comment and for sharing your story.
Gosh, these could have been my pictures (I am one of 6 girls)! So cute and I love that shot of your mom–she’s beautiful!
Six girls?!? You win! Thanks for visiting, and I’ll pass along your compliment to my mother. It will make her day.
cheers to our mothers! and happy mothers day to your mother too!
nice tribute and great pictures too…..
Thanks for sharing your childhood story…
Everyone has his/her own story of dynamic childhood. And your story is one of the best :)
“You taught us to love things like coupons, greenstamps, Tupperware, chocolate, fresh vegetables from a garden, homemade jelly, handmade quilts and antiques. ” I love that part, especially the coupons… :)
I don’t now if the “you taught us how to dig a camp toilet” will ever come in handy, but you never know. Right?
Yes, we never know :)
But let’s see how the world is like after 2012… Perhaps such practice will be in high demand :) Just joking….
Happy Mothers Day to all! :P
Yes, we are a happy family. And we’re very lucky, too.
I like the second picture very much which reminds me of my childhood. Happy Mother’s Day!
best wishes for all the moms
I love reading this particular post. I grew up with 5 sisters. I was the eldest and my dad was trying his luck on another boy until my mom after the 6th one said , “that’s it!”. She was and still is an amazing woman just like your mom. Today we honor our mothers as well as the women in our lives who’ve given so much out of love for us. Happy mothers day. thanks for sharing.
Six girls. Wow. Tell your mother there is a special place in heaven for women who raise large families and do it well. I’m sure she is amazing!
It was an interesting post,i love my mom 2 n every other mom on this world…. Happy Mother’s Day in Advance:)
As a matter of fact,I can not understand you wrote very clearly.
Because my English is very poor and I’m just a Chinese high school student.
But your mother is very pretty.
I think so does you.
Happy mother’ Day tomorrow.
To your mother.
Oh Wow — we must be soul sisters! I am the oldest of five girls also — no boys in our family either – and like you, our mother was central to our lives. We even had the same split as you — two oldest and then three youngest – five girls in 6 years. What a coincidence! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
Thanks, Katie! And Happy Mother’s Day to your wonderful mother and her five fabulous daughters.
OMG… that littlest girl is sooooo cute! She reminds me of someone… oh yeah, ME! Thanks #2 for the homage to our awesome mom. She done good, and so have you. I’d like to give a shout out to all our sisters each of whom is a mommy and even a couple of grannies now. You’ve all done a great job and I am proud of all of you.
Thanks to all of your blogger buddies that validate our life stories. It’s fun hearing the parallels. I too so dearly miss being able to play freely in the neighborhood. Some of my favorite childhood memories are our cops & robbers hide and seek marathons outside in the dark, skipping down the road at Lake Ouachita singing all the songs from The Sound of Music with pantomime and doing our best Bo Derek “10” run from the water. Ahhh good times… Okay, I still sing those songs, I just hid from Gabe this morning, but the Bo Derek thing ain’t gonna happen ever again… Let’s face it. It’d look more like Mrs. Jumbo going after those bratty boys that threw peanuts at Dumbo. I hated those boys… baby of mine…sniff, sniff
Happy Mother’s day to all of you! Moms Rock!
You crack me up, Baby Sister. If you’re Mrs. Jumbo, then I’m Mrs. Doubtfire. And no one wants to see her in braids and a swimsuit! Thanks for the flashback to childhood memories of hide & seek and The Sound of Music pantomine. Good time. Very good times. And you’re right – all the rest of our sisters should get a big high five, as well. The five of us are all mothers, and all of our children turned out okay! Not a single sociopath in the bunch. Congrats, sisters! Love you… mean it!
Beautifully written! Just saw your post from Freshly pressed. I always wanted a sister..you are so lucky to have 4 of them!
What a great post! And your Mom is STUNNING. I love that last black and white of her–wow.
Congrats on being featured on Freshly Pressed–I saw the page and I saw like “Hey! I know her!” =)
Lovely post. Thanks for sharing it!
Beautiful photos, your mom looks like a movie star, especially in the last one.
Hey, what about a thank-you to the Dad for …by driving your Mom crazy with “I want a boy!” syndrome that resulted in this great family? :-)
What… is this Father’s Day weekend? Ha! Thanks fornormalstepfathers. You’re right. We wouldn’t be here without him!
How lovely to come across another big family of girls in such a pretty tribute! I am the second oldest of 6 girls, but we have one brother also. Seven children total. He was second to last, so it seems my parents kept trying for a boy, and got one. Then tried once more, got a girl and said “that’s it!”
Great article! Thanks for sharing. Looks like we grew up in the same era – though we had 2 girls and 3 boys in our family. Here’s something I put together you might enjoy reading this weekend. http://cathyhowie.wordpress.com/
very cool old pics!
very beautiful tale and pics
thx for sharing
I don’t think your parents were crazy at all. Having a lot of kids was common place because it was a different world back then. It almost seems like moms back then were made of tougher stuff, too.
Kids were made of tougher stuff back then, too. And you’re right. When I was younger, there were a lot of large families in our neighborhood. It was very commonplace back then. But that was back in the 1970’s when most moms stayed home and kids were free to run around the neighborhood without fear. Sometimes, I miss the old days.
This is a lovely tribute to your mum. I love the photos :)
This is very interesting. It make me kinda sad though cause I could not see my mom on mothers day. Im sure it will make your mom feel really special to see this.
What a lovely story. Especially about the feminine hygiene products – ha! But if my husband doesn’t get a boy by the 3rd one, we are done!
I sometimes wonder how many times my mom thought that exact same thing – “one more, then we’re done!” Good luck, A., and Happy Mother’s Day!
thanks for sharing with friends online – cgm0’s
I have four sisters, too….And Mom was a total beauty, too! Maybe there’s something to that? ;-)
Happy Mother’s Day. On this special day I remember my mother Joan, as she passed when I was 5. She was 33. Happy Mother’s day in celebration of her having me on earth and for my Mother’s Day: my daughter is 17 and the best thing that a Mother Can Have and Celebrate! :)
Great post and pictures. Perfect for this mother’s day!
How lucky of you with such a mom.
Enjoyed reading your post and love the pics! I am number 4 of 5 girls in our family. My parents thought they were finished having kids when they had me. Then, surpirse! Along came my little sis when I was ten, so there’s a 20 year gap between oldest and youngest. All of that estrogen definitely makes for an interesting household! :) Happy mother’s day and congrats on being freshly pressed.
Thanks, Lyndasm the ex-pat Texan! It’s nice to meet another “one of five” girls. How ironic that we should virtually meet after you moved to Dubai, since The Complete Package and I live in the Houston area. I’m glad we did, though. I’m enjoying your photo journals and stories on life in Dubai. It’s fascinating and your photos from around Dubai are gorgeous. I look forward to reading more.
Thanks so much! I saw that we had a Texas connection on your “About” page after I posted my comment. What a small world! I absolutely love that you call your husband “The Complete Package.” :)
I love old family photos! Even if I dont know the people in them, they make me feel comfortable and at home! Great blog. – Sagel Friendsmith
Me too, Sagel. I love looking at old family photos, even if they’re not my family. If I don’t know the story behind the photos, I just make one up in my head. It may be a little weird, but it’s also fun.
There were no good memories of my Mother on this day. As a child the only major memory that comes to mind is when as a young child, for reasons I do not remember or understand, she hit me in my face with a full, unopened can of beer. It broke my front tooth (which resulted in very painful surgery) and broke a large blood vessel in my upper lip. I carried that broken tooth and broken blood vessel on my lip until my mid forties. My Mother, as well as Father, were very cruel and mean individuals. In the treatment that my Brother and I received from them, in my youth; If they did the same today, they would have been placed in prison.
I’m so very sorry you do not have happy memories on Mother’s Day. While my childhood was not always happy, we always knew we could count on our mother. She really was the foundation for the women we became. Thank you for reminding me just how blessed my sisters and I are. To those who have not had the same experiences, I wish you peace and love. -Jeanne
I really enjoyed this post and the pictures it brought back a lot of fond memories of my mother
Nice i love old pics.
Love this post. What a gorgeous family you have! I grew up with five brothers so now that I have two kids of my own, I often say to myself, “Now I understand my mother, I get it!”
My four sisters and I feel the same way, and now our children are starting to have children. We’re all getting it now! It’s what I like to call a “when life comes full circle” moments. You never truly appreciate what your parents went through until you experience it for yourself. Happy Mother’s Day to you!
Congrats on the Freshly Pressed, lady! I saw it on the WP main page and was like….?! So fabulous. And what a wonderful Mother’s Day post. Happy Mother’s Day to you :)
Thanks, Kat! I was stunned when I saw it myself! My little blog is not used to this kind of attention. It’s a little overwhelming, but it’s also nice that so many people around the world have had an opportunity to share my tribute to our mother. Once the shock wears off, I think this is going to feel really cool! Thanks for the Mother’s Day wishes, Kat. I appreciate it!
she’s like my Mom… in my mind, She is wonderwoman :)
This is my first mama’s day and today everything seems to be so special… It seems that my daughter looks at me in a different way. She’s only 2 mounths old, so she can’t provide a present for me and she can’t tell me how much she loves me, but everywhen she looks at me it seems she’s saying: “Hi, mom! I’m your present! Don’t you see how much I’m special?”. Yes, you are. I’d like to say. You are the best thing I’ve ever had in my life!
My greetings for the blog and for the wonderful photoes you posted!
Happy first Mother’s Day, Eleonora! I’m sure each Mother’s Day will just keep getting better as your daughter grows. What a wonderful present she is. Best wishes!
Well done! Very nice tribute to your creator.
wow there are more comments on here than words in my last post! lol
Happy Mother’s Day!
nice post!!! I love reading your blog, hmmmm im missing my elder sister…hope she’s doin fine then.
Great post–brought up lots of memories for me as well, being the youngest of five myself. Amazing how we can share so much. My blog made tribute to my mom–but maybe another one will address sisters–although our group sessions may not be quite as fun-filled as yours. I can say I am great friends with one of them! Congrats on being FPed.
I have four sisters too! and I’m the fourth. But my mother really waited for our little boy. So we’re six in all. It’s kind of a big merry family in here.
Lovely tribute and photos!
Loved the post and the photos! I am #1 of 5 children. We had a group of “3 big sibs” and then along came “the babies” [brother and sister born 9 months apart] after a 10 year gap. [I think we finally stopped calling them “the babies” when they hit age 30]. It is interesting how each of us are a part of the same family but had such different life experiences and perspectives. As the oldest, I have memories that many of my siblings do not and my parents had really mellowed along the way by the time “the babies” arrived. Just like your family, each of us is so different and we have taken such diverse paths. I like your “puzzle pieces” analogy. Perhaps my analogy could be that our family is composing a unique song which cannot be played or enjoyed without all the notes of a scale present and harmonizing. :)
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the women in your life! [and the man who survived the hormone overload]
I love the analogy of your family as a unique song that can’t be played without pulling all the notes and harmony together. It seems perfect for someone so connected to music. What a lovely analogy. Thanks for sharing your family story with me!
The mothers that can do this kind of thing are truly incredible. Living in a massive household, I can relate to this girls childhood in many ways. Growing up with three brothers, my mother had all boys. She somehow managed to get us all through are teenage years and raised us successfully. Being close to your family and interacting with your siblings really helps out your family life. Family should be there to support you, and to motivate you to be the best you can be. And like this woman’s mother, my mother has somehow got us through high school with no problems. Unbelievable.
Very sweet article.
Cool Mothers’ Day post and wow.
Really nice post there! :)
Speaking of a house full of women, my boyfriend’s mother had 6 sisters (now 4) and 1 brother, and they are the most united family unit I’ve come across. They work together to run a mini-mart, and take care of an ageing mother. For them, family is their top priority.
Enjoyed your post very much :) Congrats for being freshly pressed.
Hi. I come from a family of 5 too. (I have 3 brothers (17, 11 and 2 years old) and a 13 year old sister – And I’m 19) We were always split into the big kids (me and 17 yr old brother) and then 13 year old sis and 11 yr old bro were the little kids. Then came the baby, the surprise, and naturally he became one of the little kids. However, the question in our house – does that mean that sis graduates to be one of the big kids? Definitely not, says I – she can’t even string a sentence together without adding ‘right?’ to the end of it – so melodramatic and everything is an OMG! moment. But definitely not says the 2 youngest kids – she has no interest in Lego. So I think she’ll have to resign to the fact that she’s going to have to keep a foot in each camp, or suffer from Middle Child Syndrome and become more sucessful than the rest of us lol – What a punishment! Lol
Your poor middle sister… sentenced to a life suspended between two sibling groups. Not a big kid, but not a little kid. I think you may be right. She may work extra hard to outshine all of you! I love that her lack of interest in Lego is what keeps her from the ranks of the little ones, and her over use of the word “right” at the end of every sentence keeps her out of the big kids group. That made me laugh. Good luck to her and to all of you. Thanks for visiting and sharing your family with me!
you have an awesome family! :D
I have one sister(who is perfect)..but I always wanted many more sisters! just like how they show it in the movies! well, in ur case its a reality and i must say that u are a very lucky woman!
happy mothers day to all the lovley mommas! :)
Thank you, Shonottra. I agree… I’m a very lucky girl!
Your mother was (and is!) beautiful! You are so lucky to have a large family, and so many sisters. I am an only child, and feel I am really missing out in life not having siblings.
Thank you so much for your kind words. As one of five daughters, I can also attest to the fact that I have girlfriends that are as close to me as my sisters. Sometimes families are created, not birthed. It’s all the same love and trust in the end!
What a beautiful expression of happiness and family – I enjoy reading your blog very much.
Thanks, Patricia. I appreciate your kind words and hope you’ll continue to drop by any time you like!
like to read this post, what a wonderfull family there sista…^;^
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