Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there!
Lots of mom play WoW. WoWInsider has an advice column written by two WoW-playing moms. In the real world, moms are like a hybrid class. Moms play many roles. They can tank life’s problems to protect their children from damage, taking the hardest hits themself to make sure their loved ones don’t. They can be damage dealers, pushing themselves to “kill the monster” by doing everything in their power (including pulling out a few tricks you didn’t know they had) to fix a problem before it becomes overwhelming.
This is a healer blog, so today I want to talk about moms as healers. Especially my mom.
Holy Priests and Paladins, Restoration Druids and Shaman… They don’t get all the love and appreciation they deserve. Even more under-appreciated is the “bandage spec” healer. That non-healer who slaps a bandage on somebody to do just enough healing to keep them in the fight.
My mom bandaged a lot of wounds. I’m very thankful she didn’t name me Grace because that would have seemed like a cruel joke. I’ve become a bit more graceful with time, but I can still trip over invisible obstacles that everyone else glides right over. I was a tomboy, and I was always covered in bruises, cuts, scratches… and I couldn’t tell you, even at the time, where most of them came from! Mom says I thought Band-Aids “held the blood in” when I was a kid. I can’t imagine how much she spent over the years keeping our house supplied with them.
And none of that running in, slapping my own Band-Aid on, and running back out, either! When I came in with blood running down a leg and bits of the outdoors sticking to my exposed flesh, Mom cleaned me up and put the bandage on. You know the quests where you have to go put bandages on wounded defenders in an area? I know from experience that a bandage feels better when someone else puts it on you.
Okay, so healers aren’t the only ones who give buffs. But you can think of an intellect buff as “healing ignorance”.
Some subjects came very easily to me in school. I didn’t need much help with actually learning the material, and it was sometimes material I already knew. (Oh, if only I had a nickle for every book I was assigned to read that I had already read a few years before!) But even when the subjects were easy for me, homework was… Well, I sucked at doing my homework.
Mom enforced rules on doing homework, and she checked over it. She called out spelling words for me. She put a lot of time and effort into helping me with math. It’s because of my mom that I’m able to do much of anything with fractions, and because of her that I always picture the fractions as slices of pizza.
Mom taught us to handle money by paying us an allowance. I knew kids who didn’t get an allowance at all, but then their parents would just buy them the things they wanted. I also knew kids who got an allowance in the sense of a set amount of spending money, given to them regularly. Our allowances were tied to the amount of work we did around the house. We learned to save up for things, and we learned to work harder if we wanted the money faster. We also learned about loans. Sometimes Mom would offer to go ahead and buy us something we wanted and then take the money out of our allowance later.
Whether there was money for toys or not, whether my parents had the money for us to go to McDonald’s or not, one thing I don’t remember ever having to want for was books. Books were bought, trips to the library were made. Mom encouraged reading. I always thought that was a little odd because Mom wasn’t much of a reader herself. It wasn’t until I got older and saw her reading a lot more that I realized my mom does love to read… she just spent so much time looking after us that she didn’t have a lot of time or energy left for curling up with a book.
Mom maxed out her cooking skill long ago, as far as I’m concerned. Sure, I had to eat things I didn’t like when I was a kid, but that was just because I didn’t like the food. It had nothing to do with Mom’s cooking ability.
Eating out – including grabbing something from McDonald’s or another fast food place – was an occasional thing in our house. Mom cooked! And we ate supper at the table together. It was one time out of the day that we knew we’d all be in the same place at the same time. There was a rule that we had to eat at least one serving-spoonful of something even if we didn’t like it, and side dishes were vegetables.
Of all the things Mom has cooked over the years, the one thing I really start to miss from time to time is her meatloaf. I’ve had other people’s meatloaf. I’ve had meatloaf from restaurants. I don’t like it. I’m not sure what it is that makes Mom’s meatloaf different, but it’s really good!
Cleansing Diseases and Healer Aggro
Mom didn’t run me to the doctor at the first sign of sniffles. She’s a competant healer, and she was a good judge of when some illness was more than she could cure. That’s when she took me to the doctor… when it became clear that I was in need of medicine/etc, but before being sick had gone on so long that I was REALLY sick!
Whether I had to go to the doctor or not, Mom handled the at-home healing. She made me go to bed. She took my temperature regularly, and she made sure I drank fluids. If there was medicine to be taken, she brought it to me on time. She checked on me. She asked if I needed anything, if I wanted anything, how my symptoms were. And she made me grilled cheese sandwiches.
I’m in my 30s and I still believe there are very few illnesses that can’t be eased at least a little by a grilled cheese sandwich, a popsicle, and somebody to tuck a blanket around you. That may not cure everything, but it makes everything feel better!
Of course, like a healer who has been healing long and hard enough that the monsters turn and run at them, Mom got healer aggro sometimes. The worst case of it I can remember is when I had chicken pox. Mom caught it from me, and she was pregnant with my sister at the time. My sister was born just fine, but really… chicken pox while you’re pregnant? I swear I wouldn’t have given it to her if I’d had a choice!
Mind Control Effects
Some of life’s monsters have Mind Control abilities. Some of these attacks are more vicious and do more harm than others. Everything from emotional upset to diagnosable mental illness can come into play.
There’s a lot of stories I could tell about this, but many of them are still way too personal. Some of them would still hurt too much if I did more than let my mind pass over the memory and simply acknowledge it. So this is a very small sampling of some of what Mom has healed me through over the years:
Friends moving away.
Learning what a “friend” really is, and why that friend who isn’t one anymore never really was to begin with.
Relationship break-ups – both during the teenage years and in adult life
There’s a story that has been told over in over in my family about the time I hid in my toybox and scared the living crap out of my grandmother. Not that I jumped out and spooked her, but that I stayed hidden inside and let her run around panicking and not knowing where I was. I don’t actually remember doing it, but I remember the toybox and it does sound very much like something I would have done as a small kid. (Or last week, if I could still fit in a toybox.) The story always sounds sort of funny when it’s told. It has that sense of looking back and wondering how some people actually manage to survive long enough to be able to look back at things and laugh.
When my grandmother died (and I was an adult when this happened… only a few years shy of 30), the day we had her funeral I was suddenly overcome with tremendous guilt over having done that. I realized I had never apologized. Someone always laughed when my mom told the story, and it had just never really sunk in for me that it was NOT AT ALL funny at the time. That sunk in about half a second before the realization that I would never be able to apologize now did. And I cried so hard. I cried because I loved my grandmother so much, and because I was so sorry for something I’d done many years before, and because I would never be able to tell her. And it didn’t matter that my grandmother would have looked at me like I’d lost my mind and just changed the subject if I had apologized to her as an adult… I just wanted to be able to let her know, and I couldn’t!
My mother held me. She held me while I cried all over her and babbled things I don’t know if she even understood through my crying about toyboxes and being sorry. My mother was burying her mother that day, but she held me while I cried. And that’s the really important part of that story. That my mother held me.
Healers can’t heal non-stop. They need to replenish their mana sometimes, sit down and have a drink before they can keep going. When the healer says, “need mana”, it’s in the best interest of the tank to stop and wait. You do not want a healer who can’t heal anymore because they’ve been… well… really busy healing.
Moms often seem like healers from the last expansion… infinite resources, can heal through anything! And, just like people did to their healers, we sometimes make things harder on moms than it should be because we just aren’t really thinking about it. Mom can handle it. Mom can handle anything!
There are things your healer shouldn’t have to handle, even if they can… and that’s even more true for moms. Like healers, moms will make mistakes… but you still don’t want to have a dragon in your face without her there to watch your back. Like healers, mom will have to let you get hurt sometimes so you can learn an important lesson from it. And like healers, moms need some time to rest before they get back up and keep going.
Like healers, moms might want to sit down and have a drink now and then.
Happy Mothers Day, Mom! Thanks for being my healer.