Sunday 12 May 2019

An Ode to My Mother (um...sorry, Mom)

Here's the thing with my mother.

Dammit Karen: A Mother's Day Ode to My Mother My mother has always been there, a stay-at-home mom, making our clothes, volunteering at the school library, coming along on Brownies camping trips.  It wasn't weird, because it was the 70s and early 80s, but it was still a lot more than my friends' moms did...not in a good way or a bad way, but she was always there.

But she's not affectionate, one of those warm-and-fuzzy moms.

Capable? Yes. Competent? Yes. Can make amazing Halloween costumes for six grandchildren? Paint? Knit? Cook a killer Thanksgiving feast? Garden? Landscape? Design and sew my wedding dress? Crochet? Papier-mache giant masks? Whittle hundreds of Santas? You bet - all that and more.

Obviously, she must have liked us to do so much for us, but hugs?  No.

Watching her with my kids now, she's far cuddlier with them than she ever was with me, and it's wonderful to see, but it's odd, too; we just weren't a huggy family. People that know me well are always surprised by that, because I'm an overemotional wreck warm and weepy, and I squeeze, maul and manhandle my kids every chance I get.

Unless they have lice. Or smell bad, or are sticky, or I'm wearing nice clothes* or something white.**

And recently, thinking about my own children, who, frankly, are lousy, smelly and sticky quite a bit of the time, it occurred to me: maybe my mom really liked us, but just thought we were disgusting.

This is better, psychologically, I suppose. But is it? I don't know whether the problem was that she thought we were disgusting, or that we actually were disgusting. Both are problematic, and will (probably) lead to (more) therapy, so maybe I don't want to know.

Anyway, Happy Mother's Day, Mom! You are an overachiever, and have left me with giant shoes (figuratively - she's a size 7) to fill. Also, I hope you don't find me as gross as you did in my formative years.

*very rare
**like a dog who speaks German: even rarer

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