Mother’s Day

They say if you want to see what a girl is going to look like in 10 or 20 years, look at her mother. I feel sorry for my mum if people think that she used to look like me. 😀

My mum is beautiful. I used to look at pictures of her when I was younger, specifically this one of her from high school, and wonder if I’d ever be half of what she is. Her hair was red, she had a million freckles I wanted, tiny hands, and a smile that had a tinge of her intrinsic wit and evil you’d only notice if you knew her well. Thirty years later, and she still looks exactly the same to me as she did in that picture.

On Mother’s Day, my brothers and I would always make or get her stuff and she’d protest like all mothers do who hate holidays, but secretly I know she loved it. We have the solace of knowing that we can still make or buy her crappy stuff and she has to like it, but we always know when she’s lying. Mainly because if I get her something she doesn’t like, there’s a 100% guarantee I’ll see it in my brother’s house a few years later, or she’ll employ her ADHD full-force and return it to me after forgetting I gave it to her. My mum is fantastic.

This Mother’s Day is a difficult one. My mother is down in Florida battling breast cancer and chemo and I can’t go to her like I want. It’s also the first Mother’s Day without my The Mother who passed from ALS not even three months ago. I am a mother, but my kids are weird, so I’m not sure that’s something to brag about. Juno is still thanking me for the Mother’s Day card I gave her. Sure thing, wee comrade.

I don’t have any especially sage advice given to me by my mother while growing up that I remember, except maybe that the roads are always wet, so I should be careful.

But mum, I’d say, it’s 90 degrees and in a drought. 

Well, they’re wet. *cackling*

I wasn’t as influenced by what my mum said as I was by who she was and is. My mum would feed any stray, allow any kid in our home whether bathed or smelling like Pig-Pen, give our food and money away even the years we lived in poverty, never turn away someone crying, and never forget to make us laugh. Making her laugh has always been our favorite thing to do, especially when we were in trouble and then she didn’t whip us. Comedy is an effective weapon against mothers.

My mother is brilliant. I don’t mean the common vernacular of calling everything a genius, but my mum is a genius. She can learn anything, do anything, learn instruments, make art, design rooms, beat diseases, whisper to animals, and hit lots of deer. I mean, does your mum have that superpower? Has she hit many deer with her vehicle? No? Sit down.

My mum does not-so-brilliant stuff, too, like wear long sleeves in Florida. Or like temperatures above 70 degrees. Or wear cowboy boots. I forgive her for these atrocities because she’s so great. But seriously, mum, quit buying lace-up pointy boots.

I will graduate school in December after ten years of struggling through Javin’s epilepsy, homeschooling six kids, divorce and its aftermath, lupus, a youngest child from the depths of chaos, the suffering and passing of my The Mother, my mum’s illness, my husband’s snoring, and so many other things that come with having a large, strange family. I think about when I was Nora’s age now, eleven, and my mum had graduated with her first Associates degree. I saw her go to school and work, still make all of our events, deal with my brothers’ tomfoolery, survive an exceptionally abusive marriage, and at least hide from us that she wasn’t yet nuts. I saw her say she was going to do something and do it, no matter what it cost her. She survived, I survived. She finished, I will finish. She’s my hero.

So to the woman I brought weeds to, gave crappy school art to, wrote even crappier poems for, and aspired to be half as capable as: Happy Mother’s Day, mum.

And to my The Mother in the divine places, smooooooooch.


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