First off, happy Mother’s Day.
I don’t remember the day I was born (duh) or the day you brought me home from the hospital (double-duh—I was only two days old!), but I’ve seen pictures. The one I remember most vividly is you holding me maybe minutes after I was born, but probably more like hours. I mean, I don’t know firsthand what I woman who’s just been through labor really looks like, but it looks like it was recent enough. Anyway, this is going to sound unglamorous, but I can see some of the blots of busted capillaries, and all I can say to that is wow. You loved me enough to bust those capillaries (and God only knows what else) laboring to actually get me out into this insane place we call the world after carrying me for nine months and before carrying me for another, I dunno, twelve until I learned how to walk.
I don’t have concrete memories of you until I’m about three or so, but I do remember fragments from before. I remember fall, especially cleaning for the holidays, with that special astringent lemony scent that only Soft Scrub has. I remember hearing Enya and Fiona Apple. I remember being warm and cozy, and feeling safe, and, most of all, loved.
I’m not going to go through every single memory I have of you, but what I will say is this: every one is a treasure. Okay, most of them. I say “most” because I know I did some stupid things that rightfully pissed you off, and you’re scary when you’re mad. (Seriously, the thought of you being angry still cows me at times because you’re good at the teacher-ly wall of fury thing.)
I’d like to think that you’re proud to say “That’s my Chickadoodle!” in a lot of ways. I know you are in some, anyway. Honestly, there are times when my fall-back option is to just ask myself, “What would Mom do in this situation?” Usually, I call and ask, but I’ve done this for snap decisions, too, and I’d say it’s served me well.
A lot of the time, though, I can look back and remember what you taught me without having to think. You taught me that it’s okay to ask for help. You taught me how to swaddle a baby (or, in my case, a baby doll). You taught me to never back down. You taught me to trust my instincts. You taught me to read twice and for God’s sake, show my work if I want to get any points. You taught me that it’s okay to make mistakes. You taught me how to bake coffee cake and French breakfast muffins. You taught me how to sew, and how to use that funny iron-on stuff that allows for much easier hemming.
You taught me a lot, and you’re not done teaching me yet. But more than that, like I said before, you love me, even when I’m not all that lovable. You go above and beyond, and someday, when I have kids, I hope that they’ll write things like this about me, and that they’ll look at you and say, “My grandma is awesome”. (It’s a ways off, yet, but I still hope it happens!)
I love you, Mom. Now, and every day. Always have, always will.