Category Archives: Mom

Tickle Therapy

Ever since I can remember, I have loved being tickled. Not the kind of tickling that tortures the bladder. My two older brothers would sometimes find incredible amounts of enjoyment tickling me (their little baby sister) until I nearly wet my pants. I forgave them for this years ago. For this and for putting ice cubes down my swim suit and for accidentally sending my gerbil, Costello, off to gerbil heaven long before it was time, and for locking me out of their bedroom and for always sticking me in the middle on long car rides and for…

Oops, I guess I am getting somewhat off topic. No, the tickling I enjoyed was the kind I received from my mom. Some of my favorite memories as a child involved lying on the couch with either my legs stretched out across my mom’s lap or flipped around with my head resting on her leg, and my arms stretched across her lap. My mom was the best tickler. I tend to believe she excelled at this job because I gave her plenty of hours of practice.

It got to the point in our tickle giver/tickle receiver relationship where words became unnecessary. I would lie down on the couch next to her where she would be sitting and reading a book and assume the tickling position. She would begin, holding a book in one hand and tickling me with the other. As she read, she sometimes became distracted and would briefly forget to perform the unspoken task in front of her. The tips of her fingers would stop momentarily and rest against my skin. Often, I would refocus her by slightly twitching my leg or my arm (whichever appendage was being pampered at the moment). The twitching method was my subtle way of letting my mom know that more tickling was in order. It proved successful most of the time too. My mom would instinctively resume, gently and ever so softly moving her fingertips back and forth. It was the most relaxing feeling.

When my designated tickler was not available (even the most skilled ticklers need breaks sometimes) I would resort to the back-up tickling plan, a blanket-with-a-softy. This particular blanket had a border made of the softest and silkiest material. As a child, I would snuggle under my blanket-with-a-softy, take one of the silky corners, and create my own personal tickling device. It never quite compared to the real thing but, if I ran the edge of that softy slowly down my arms or across my cheek, it was the best alternative to my mom that I could find.

Thirty years later and I still like being tickled. My husband knows I much prefer back tickling over back massages. Within a matter of seconds after his fingertips first start moving up and down my back any tension I might be feeling quickly fades away. I close my eyes and savor the mini-vacation at the Tickle Therapy Resort…

Sometimes when I tuck my son into bed at night, he will fling his arm up over his head and say, “Mommy, could you tickle my arm for a little bit?”

I gently move my hand back and forth across his arm.

“A little more to the right, Mommy.”

I shift my fingers ever so slightly, “How’s that?”

“Ahh! That’s the spot.”

How Much You Mean To Me

I wanted to post something special today. July 14th was the day my mom died in 1991. My mom loved to write. She wrote short stories, poetry,and songs and would sometimes sing the songs she wrote at church while playing her guitar. She and I would often sing the songs she wrote while we rode along in the car together. Once when I was probably about ten years old, I even accompanied her at church. Here’s the happy little ditty we sang during my brief singing career…

Walkin’ in the Light

There is a little Light that’s shining
All the way from Galilee
Over land and over sea
All the way to you and me

So walk in the Light from Galilee
walk in the Light and you will see
What a change there’s gonna be
When you are walkin’ in the Light

There’s a little joy that’s waiting
Round the corner just for you
You can start your life anew
If you open up your heart today

There’s a little love that’s growin’
Way down deep within your soul
And it’s gonna make you whole
when you learn to give it all away

…fortunately, for the good of the general public, I no longer sing (on stage). But, that little experience was fun.

I wanted to post one more thing my mom wrote. It is a poem that she wrote when she was 11 years old. It was written for her mom on Mother’s Day in 1948.

How Much You Mean To Me

Count all the tulips in Holland
Count all the roses in May
Count all the joys that go with them
Count them again everyday
Count all the stars in the evening
Count every day in the year
Count every happiness God gives
And every sigh; every tear
Count all the beauties of laughter
Count all the love-sparkling eyes
Count all the joys of the sunlight
Shining high up in the skies
Count all the angels in Heaven
Count all the leaves on a tree
Count all the smiles that go your way
That’s how much you mean to me

That’s how much you mean to me too, Mom.