Before Kerry Haggard was a mom or a wife, she was a daughter. In honour of Mother’s Day, and her awesome mom, Kerry is blogging as a JoziKid this time round, rather than as a Jozi mom. You can find Kerry on Twitter.
My mom was a teacher, and she was one of those teachers that EVERYONE remembers. Some of them remembered her because she was determined to stay in control of her class, but most of them I suspect remembered her because she was a damn good teacher. I used to sit in her class after nursery school, and then I joined her school in Grade 1, for the rest of my primary school career. That combination stuck me with the label of ‘Mrs Johnson’s daughter’ for much longer than I would realise.
When I went to high school, and was dealing with the inelegance of Standard Six initiation, I had matrics asking me if I was Mrs Johnson’s daughter. It happened at university too – and when I moved to London for 18 months, it happened on tube station platforms, at a concert, and even at a braai at the neighbour’s house.
THAT’s how far my mother’s influence as a teacher reached. And I used to hate it, that I wasn’t Kerry, rather, I was Mrs Johnson’s daughter.
There were times when I really was a horrible teenager, and even into my 20s, I made some really stupid mistakes and I spent too much time with some really wrong people. But she supported me through all that, confident that she had given me the tools to figure stuff out for myself. She stood her ground when I was being completely unreasonable, standing strong through my tears and one memorable (or forgettable!) night when I think she and my dad locked me in the house to stop me tearing out to visit my prove-my-point boyfriend. And when I felt that I had to persist in something really silly, she stood by and let me figure stuff out for myself. And I’ve never once heard her say “I told you so” when she turned out to be right. Which was most of the time. Well, all the time.
My mom is in her late 60s now, and lives in a lovely cottage in a retirement village, 10 minutes away from us. She has the most beautiful garden that I suspect would win a gardening competition hands-down. She adores my sons, and I know that they adore her. She plays the organ in her church every Sunday, and is very active in the church community. She supports my family and me in so many ways that I couldn’t possibly list them all here, and is available at the drop of a hat whenever we need her. She is strong and independent, and is never afraid to try new things. She has a wicked sense of humour, and a vibrant group of friends.
I love my mom, so much, and I must tell you, I am PROUD to be Mrs Johnson’s daughter.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.