Just about every guy in the world thinks that he has the best mom in the world, even when he's graduated from childhood and thinks that his own children enjoy that same prestigious honor. My mom's the best mom in the world. But so is my wife. Don't you agree--I mean that your mom and your wife are the best moms in the world?
My Mentor--My Mom.
Mom was always there when I got home from school. Sometimes all I needed to know was that she was around, and then I'd run off to play. When I was younger, she would often take me down to "the field" where I could sit on the tractor or in the feed truck with my dad. And every once in a while she'd even come down and take me babck home when I felt like I'd been there too long.
She always came to my basketball, football, and baseball games, even though I was often not the star of the show.
I still remember the first time I read a large book as a child. My mom was excited to tell everyone how proud she was that her son was a great reader. The first time I set out to write a book (I still never have accomplished that feat, but she has), she was very patient with me as I banged on the keys of her typewriter and wasted dozens of sheets of paper.
She became my example for learning; she often read books, thereby encouraging me to be voracious reader to this day. Through her I developed the understanding that it wasn't just men who could or should excel in intelligence and leadership. Her candidacy for Washington County School Board and her later election to the Washington, Utah City Council was every bit as inspiring to my political ambitions was as my father's political career.
I often tell people that my mom got her Eagle Scout award with me as proxy. It was she who always ensured that I continued to earn the merit badges and fulfill the requirements to become an Eagle.
My mother was the only person who wrote me letters nearly every single week of my Army basic training and my LDS mission. With the exception of my wife, my mother was the most frequent sender of letters and goodies to me while I served with the military in Iraq.
To this day mom makes sure she keeps in touch, sometimes quite spontaneously, even though we live several hours away from each other. She's always a listening ear and a problem solver, even when she doesn't really have the time to be. Despite the distance, she frequently makes time to attend important events in the lives of her grandchildren as well.
My Sweetheart--My Wife.
It wasn't until after the first date with my future wife that I told my roommate that I knew who I was going to marry. It was a freaky (good) feeling, but I was right, and it was the best decision I ever made.
My wife often tells me how how handsome I am (even though I'm really not) and how much of a physical specimen I am (even though I could stand to lose about 20 pounds). She even likes the way I smell. And you know what? That makes me feel good.
She is the calm to my storm. I'm surprised sometimes that she puts up with my antics, but I know that her leavening influence has me heading in the right direction. She's no dummy! But she is very patient!
My wife is the financial guru in our family. It is due to her aggressive financial nature (more than mine) that we are free of debt. She has taught our children well the value of money.
She has read nearly a hundred thousand books to our children, and that is the main reason that they all feel a sense of belonging to our family and that they all love to read.
I don't think she'll ever be in poor physical shape, having been a track star (and state record holder) in high school. She still smokes all the women her age--and younger--in the 4th of July races. It's her example that keeps me motivated (although I could do just a little better) to maintain my physical fitness. As a result, all of our children enjoy activities that require exertion. Our favorite summer vacations involve not Disneyland or that sort of thing, but rather hiking in the national parks.
She has an excellent singing voice and has taught all of my children to love music. Through her example, they all sing with a local youth choir.
My wife is always the example. She frowns at my occasional curse word, but she keeps right on loving me and expecting me to be the best person I can be. So I keep trying.
We had a discussion once about whether we make will make it to heaven. My response was, "I sure hope, so." She looked at me a bit strangely and said, "Absolutely, we will!" You know what? Knowing her strong sense of character and example--all I have to do is hold on for the ride, and I'm sure we will.