Sunday, May 08, 2022

Un/like My Mother: A Series

It's Mother's Day. I wrote this three's years ago about my mom. I could edit it so it's a bit more current but I think I'll not and instead turn this into a series, to honor her. Some stories may be of how we differ, but I imagine most will be how we are similar. I hope that's the case, anyway, because I should be so lucky. 

I was reading some funny tweets about ways people have turned into their parents. One of them was,

 "I can watch the entire Grammy's and not recognize a single person." That would be true for me as well. I hardly know what's cool and new out there and I can't bother to even care.   

Another one was, 

"I've licked my thumb and cleaned someone's face with it"  and this is one where I differ.

My mother used to do this. I remember the scent of that mom saliva well. It was definitely gross but still somehow motherly and familiar.  I think i can remember the smell of her lipstick as well.  Well, I don't do this because, again, gross.  What I do is make Julian lick his own thumb and use that to clean his face! Ha ha ha. I think it is so funny, I don't know why. But really, better that than my thumb, right? Your spit, your thumb. Also, your germs. Why use my spit on someone else's face? They'd feel much more comfortable with their own spit on their face, right? Wouldn't you?

Something I do that my mother did is sneak in a plate of something for the kid to munch on whenever I basically can.  Carrot sticks, apple slices, pears, cucumbers. My mom was always doing this. Whatever I was doing, probably mostly reading, somehow there was always a small plate of crunchies to snack on that had suddenly slid into view. How it got there, who knew.  It was just there. At the table, beside me on the couch. And it was great. 

Reading.  My mom used to read to my younger sister and me and I don't know how she had the time or energy for it. She had a trillion things to do with as many other children but she read so many books to us at bedtime, sandwiched between squirts on one of our twin beds, us dabbing her tired eyes for her because they watered and stung as she read.  What love.    Julian is doing Battle of the Books this year and we've read most of them together (mostly because that's the only way he'll do it). It's been seriously the best, though.  I'm finding I'm loving the books written 50+ years ago vs. the newer ones. Judy Moody, i just can't get on board with you. I can't even remember anything about it.  But Rabbit Hill written in the 40's? Yes, yes, yes. Anyway, I love reading to him.  I love reading to people in general. I was telling some friends my dream would be to read Harry Potter to people who'd never read it. Just travel the world with my books and share the good word-literally, from cover to cover. I just want to be there with someone and experience it with them for the first time, again (and again).  

 Piano practice.  My mom used to sit by us for piano and crochet afghans.  She made so many afghans and didn't have a specific plan for any of them. Now I know it was probably where she could channel her inner rage at our fits and crying. Just crochet like mad. Recently she had a bunch of afghans she'd made and was planning to get rid of. NOPE. I intervened and now I have several piano rage blankets and I love them. Sadly, I have no crocheting skills but have taken to cleaning nearby in case he needs help.  Actually these days it's best if i'm not around at all because the kid has serious piano stress and anxiety and I think my being around makes it worse. Also he will not learn for himself if I'm there. Like he's incapable of looking at his music and just figuring things out.  But the first day or two after lessons are still a bit tricky, so I'll stick around and wow, those floors sure get a good scrubbing.  *end of original post*

My mom's getting older. And guess what, I'm getting older, too. And the older I get, the more I notice things that we share. Traits, qualities, tastes, preferences. Some are small and seemingly insignificant, some are bigger, with a deeper meaning. But it's like they've just.. happened. Things that were always there, now rising, bubbling to the surface of my awareness.They are all meaningful to me. And they bubble up more and more these days and I'd like to record them.
I'm excited about this project.  Stay tuned. 

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