My mom’s a quilter, expert at bringing colors together in art not only beautiful but also cuddly. I’ve always been a crazy-quilt of sorts, with my mom masterfully at the helm of the sewing machine, knowing just when to surge ahead and when to back up a bit in helping me to come together and be me.
She lost her mother this year. So for us–and for so many others–mother’s day is something different and deeper this year. So, here’s a bouquet of words to hopefully fill in some of the un-flowery-ness, inspired by my friend Laura Lynn Brown’s new book, Everything That Makes You Mom.
For Mom, Mother’s Day 2013
I see a New England Gal following herArmy heart to that Nebraska farmer. I notice the way she relishes baking peanut blossom cookies at Christmas. Their perfection annoys me a bit, symmetrical with an equal proportion of peanut cookie and chocolate kiss. The lop-sided, overly crispy creations I made this year left me wondering how I would ever measure up. . . that is, in cookie baking.
I see a tea drinker with pickles on the table at nearly every meal. I notice the way she leans toward York Peppermint Patties, MASH re-runs, Murder She Wrote and fabric, ooh the fabric. Her strong and skinny hands have a way with finding just the right colors. Those worker hands have always been busy, ensuring that that when we had little–it was tidy and welcoming, when we had less–we made our own, and when we had too much–we shared it. Those hands found the bargains and birthday party giggles for girls gallivanting up to church for the next scavenger hunt clue.
I see a nervous driver determined to get this club-volleyball gal to every tournament, even through busy Omaha and beyond. I notice the way she slips notes into coat pockets and lunch pails. I see her eyes tired from staying up washing jerseys or talking to her little back brace girl who’s not comfortable in that contraption or her own skin. Her tiredness added to my courage in the middle-schooliest of days.
I see a new grandma coming to my maternity leave with casseroles and groceries, choosing a short stay in spite of that grand-baby-girl tug that made her want otherwise. I see her wanting to keep us close but letting us kids explore creek beds and stay up all night. I her again and again loving in the most beautiful way, the way that holds me close and then shoves me out and into my own life.
I see her in me, when I stop to say a prayer, when I get hungry for Corn Chowder, and when I take care of my own little girl when she’s sick. I will always see her in so many places, but most clearly at Christmas when carols and ornaments make me remember, and when I make my asymmetrical peanut blossom cookies.
p.s. Mom, sorry for throwing a complete fit when you made me go to that boy’s birthday party in elementary school when all of the other kids weren’t going. It was right to go. . . and for flinging that hair tie at you and breaking your etched glass window. . . and for so many other things I’ll never know or remember. Thanks for all the grace. – Ev