We as a family had a very stressful life when I was growing up. We were poor to the point of going long stints without electricity and water in our house. This financial stress made my dad mean and distant. My mother did everything she could to shield us from the reality of being poor. She made everything an adventure. We camped in the house or in tents when we couldn't afford a house.
My mother always had time for each of us to talk and to vent and to just be with her one on one. Our times together were always the same ritual and my favorite memories of my childhood. We would walk to the drugstore about 15 minutes away and get a small ice cream cup (the kind that came with the mini wooden spoon) and share it on the walk back. We talked about everything a girl needed to talk to her mom about and we laughed and joked. It wasn't expensive or time-consuming, but it was so special to us both.
She had something like that she did with each of my brothers as well. It was those simple moments with Mom that made our childhood so special and really cemented our bonds with her. Young mothers today could really take a lesson from my mom's playbook. It's not how much money or time is spent, it is the quality of time with a woman who worked 3 jobs to keep us fed and still had time to be involved in our lives and make us each feel special.