My earliest memories of my mother involve naps. Naps are good. Toddlers do not appreciate naps! Mothers really appreciate naps, both their own and their babies’. My mom had a third baby when I was only 15 months old. She was tired. She was very tired. She would put my baby sister down for a nap and take me, a tot who could not be trusted with lying quietly in my crib in the same room as my sister while she napped, and take me to her bed where she would lie down in the vain hope of getting a small nap. I was highly uncooperative.
My next memory is of my mother napping on the couch and me wanting to share my newest find with her…a spider! “Mommy! Mommy! Look what I found!” and my mother responded, eyes closed by putting out her hand. I don’t think she forgot that moment nor ever again blindly stuck out her hand! This, of course, was before I was an arachnophobic…something that happened when I was 7.
One day, my mom told me we were going to get a kitten and I was beside myself with excitement. Just as we were about to leave, I ran back and grabbed a wicker basket I had which was full of an aluminum play tea set…I dumped it out and also grabbed my baby blanket. I ran out to the car and carefully lined my basket with my blanket. We got our kitty, Inky, and I tucked the tiny black kitten into my “kitty bed”. I recall some sisterly dissent, but motherly support for me for having brought the basket.
My next memory is of going to church with my mom. I have a clear memory of standing next to my mom when I was little and thinking that she sang like an angel. She stood in her Sunday best, wearing white gloves…maybe it was Easter…or maybe that’s just the way ladies dressed for church back then. All I know is that, as far as I was concerned, no one in the world had the golden voice of my mother.
My mom was always my nurse as well. One time, I think it was Easter just before church when I was about 2 or 3, I put some gravel up my nose. I remember my mother being so calm and deciding I needed a trip to the clinic to get the gravel out without fear of getting it stuck further up inside my head. In retrospect, I don’t remember the urgent care visit at all. Much later, I appreciated her calmness again even though I was a cool 16 or 17 years old. This is a photo of my mom at that same age.
I somehow managed to get out of the car locking it manually, tuck the keys into my right jeans pocket, then proceed to slam the door shut with my right hand with my thumb wrapped to the inside of the door. I tried to walk away before realizing my thumb was still in the door. I managed to get the keys out of my pocket with my left hand and unlock the door. By the time I got through the front door, I was in severe pain and shedding lots of blood and I fell to my knees unable to go any further. My older sister heard my pleas first, but even from a distance she almost passed out at the sight of blood. Mom just bundled up my thumb and instructed my sister to drive us to the clinic.
I guess I was the only klutz of the family, because I also broke a foot at 12 years old and sprained my ankle severely at 18. I did that during Senior Cut Day and I don’t think my mom even blinked at my transgression as she took me in for X-Rays. One summer when I was 21 I got stung by a wasp and by the time I got to work I was really woozy and my arm was swelling up…yes, once again I was rescued by my mom who drove out and got me and took me to the clinic.
As humans, we grow up. We go through those stages where we think we know more than our parents; we argue with them and roll our eyes at them. But in the end, fate deals us a heavy sentence…re-enact your parents’ lives. Hear their words pour out of your mouth! Repeat their “mistakes”! Every generation strives to do better than their own parents…but the truly wise amongst us applaud our parents for doing their best…for paving the way.
Find the Joy in the Journey! Brava to moms everywhere…and Thank You, Mother…for all you sacrificed for me.