Mother Knows Best

I got to experience a beautiful May Crowning yesterday evening. It’s the event that closes out the school year for my parish’s Public School of Religion (aka PSR). Since this was my first year teaching, I didn’t know what to expect. If I didn’t have the script/program for the better part of a week, I probably wouldn’t have known what to do, too.

In any case, the deacon’s homily focused on one thing: the importance of mom in all her aspects. He asked the children to all think about what their mothers did for them, who and what they represent to them. The answers ranged from the basic (like material things) to the intangible (like love and concern conveyed through a kiss on a scraped knee).

It reminded me of times when my mother would tell me, “You won’t understand until you become a mother,” to summarily explain why I’m left in the dark about certain… well, many things.

To say that my mom and I butted heads “often” would be a monumental understatement. It was mostly a result of her being her, and me being the very image of a younger her. When I think of my mom, several words come to mind: strong, fierce, stubborn, wise, persistent, determined. She had a very “do whatever it takes to keep the family going” sort of attitude. Had it not been for that stubbornness and determination, the event of my father’s death nearly twelve years ago would have left us in a far worse situation than the one we did find ourselves in.

Imagine: a stay-at-home mom who had not worked for over twenty years and didn’t even have her driver’s license, suddenly thrust into the world as a widow who still had a teenaged daughter to look after. But she got her license, even though driving scares the daylights out of her. She got a job to make sure we had an income, willing to learn the ropes of working in a supermarket deli to get it done.

If there’s nothing else I learned from my mom, it was an entirely new brand of selflessness that put the lives of those who belonged to me— to my herd, if you will— above that of my own.

As a result of being a mom, I’ve also become a different— perhaps better?— gamer, especially in team situations. While I’ve had a penchant for trapping and kiting, as I was trained to do in late vanilla and early TBC, I never really used those skills beyond situations where I was assigned to trap or kite mobs. Sure, I’d get to trap the occasional wayward mob, but that was it.

Take the terrible thing we know as pre-Ultraxion trash, for example. Healers and fellow DPSers find themselves going from adventurer to drake food in two seconds flat; it’s up to me to make sure they don’t get digested in those two seconds. A well-timed distracting shot, pop deterrence if I start taking damage, disengage away if they get too close… And everyone ends up living, though with a few less hitpoints than they’d like. One of my favorite things to do is play dragon ping-pong with my huntering partner: he’d be kiting one and I’d use distracting shot to get it off of him while on the other side of the platform. By the time it gets close to me, it’s usually dead.

My new perspective as a mom also helped me become the tank I always wanted to be. When it came to the more “vital” roles like tanking or healing, I usually chose healing. It was reactionary and I liked filling up little green bars. But there was always something about tanking that seriously intimidated me. That intimidation went away when I found the instinct to hurl myself at monsters ten times my size if it meant saving a friend’s life. My tanking mentality is akin to the proverbial “mother bear” instinct: If a cub is in danger, you’d best bet mama’s not too far behind and frothing-at-the-mouth angry at whoever is endangering her cub.

(An entertaining aside: My very first tank was a feral druid. Coincidence? I think not.)

Now, you may be thinking, “Well, I usually do all that anyway and I’m not even a mom.” I’m not saying moms and only moms make the best gamers. It’s a personal thing, really, that my real-life situation directly impacts my gaming… Kinda like the time I went buck wild during WotLK with stocking up the guild bank while pregnant. That’s just my personality.

The point, in all honesty, is that since becoming a mom, I noticed that I’m super protective of my raid team’s virtual lives. I’d also become a lot better at self-preservation, too. The knowledge that someone’s life depends on you is very good impetus to stay alive.

I have great role models to emulate as I forge my own path, both as a mom and a gamer. When I think of all the things I could have gotten my mom for Mother’s Day this year, the one thing she’d appreciate the most is me telling her that I did, in fact, listen to her lessons and I apply them every single day. She’d get a good laugh if I told her I applied those lessons to my gaming, too.

To all you moms— in all capacities and forms— out there, I hope you have a great Mother’s Day this Sunday. And for all of you who know someone who is a mom or has been a model of momness in your life, tell ’em they’re awesome.


About Toriah the Mom

Mom, quasi-librarian, gamer, writer
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