My mother is what Saturday Night Live’s Church Lady would refer to as “Special.” She has the quirkly little ideals of a teenager sometimes, but still manages to toss her words of wisdom my way, whether I ask or not! But as I get older, I seem to understand why a little better.
There were always five children in the house–not altogether, there were seven between my father’s first wife and my mother. Each time one got married and moved on, another little bundle of joy was plopped into that corner of the house before the sheets got cold. I guess that proves that my parents’ sheets never did, which is probably why I grew up feeling as if we were a close family. We never did a lot together except for housework, chores, and camping. With that many kids, how could they afford more?
One memory of my mother was when she was tired of waiting on everybody hand and foot, and with that many people that’s a lot of hands and feet! We sat down to dinner and my mother appeared from around the corner with her hair tied up in rags and a mud mask on her face, standing at the corner of the table. I think she might have slipped a bit that day because everytime someone asked her something her reply was “Yessum” or “No’m.” At first, it was funny… I think I was about six… but then it became spooky because she kept standing at the corner, refusing to sit down. I believe the word to describe how she must have felt is “unappreciated.” She’s never been the same since! 🙂
This year I’ll be forty-five. I have a nine-year-old and a four-year-old of my own to take care of, and thank God there’s only two! I’m divorced, and between the two of them I have a household of fun, laughter, a little fighting, and a load of love. I would never trade it for anything!
I suppose what I really want to say is “Thank you, Mom.” I’ve learned so much from you over the years; some things I agree with and some I’m still turning over in my head trying to figure out. But I believe there are no “negative” or “positive” experiences–but hopefully you learn something from all of them. I learned a lot from growing up with you. I learned not to be in a one-sided marriage, I learned an education really is important, I learned when Life kicks you in the pants you can either run away crying or kick it back.
I’m sure when my own kids are grown up, I’ll be offering them advice they would rather not hear. They don’t know who Dana Carvey or who the Church Lady is, and I’m not so sure I want them to…. yet. But someday when they discover her/him on their own, I know I’ll hear about how “Special” I am! But for now, you can have the limelight!
Happy Mother’s Day, Jean!