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Monday, April 16, 2018

The Mother Lode

I sound like my mother.

In the past few weeks, I used these words to such an extent that I am extremely fearful that I have become my mother. Or perhaps even creepier, has she taken over my ability to think for myself without referring to her judgment ?

Sadly, though she is no longer physically present, I think she is here in spirit, always. However, she seems to be relishing in putting words in my mouth that I promised, as her daughter, I would never say.

Or perhaps, there is a universal, beyond astral, bulging dictionary of idiomatic expressions passed down through the generations of motherhood. A genetic magic marker of maternal graffiti written in code, only to be translated and transmitted, by the secret society of mothers everywhere.

As young women, we roll our eyes at the…eat your peas, children are starving in the world…always send a thank you within 3 days of a gift…wear a hat, it’s freezing…your room smells like old socks…

And then…

As a mother, WE roll our eyes and those words coming tumbling out.

I sound like my mother.

I miss her.

I miss the sound of her voice. I miss the intensity of her hugs. I miss her laugh. I miss her letters, notes, silly phone calls, and most of all her comfort when times were tough. That’s when her words were simple and soothing. Encouraging. Supportive and kind. Plus a solid kick in the pants when I needed a nudge forward out of my fret and worry.

Motherhood is a tough profession with no syllabus. No guidelines to follow. No ready rules to stick on the refrigerator with a magnet. It is a series of try all and do all and be all. Each of us leaping into parenting in a free fall of faith, hit the starting line with foolproof tools in our pockets.

Our Mother’s Sounds

The soft cooing sounds of calm reassurance that everything will be okay. A gentle whisper that comes in the middle of a sleepless night. A twinkle of laughter when we struggle with all those new beginnings with fumbling fingers. I am not sure we are actively listening, but the words are there waiting to be heard.

You’ll be fine kiddo.

One more thing. Mothers mother mothers. The circle of life guarantees that at some future point, our mothers will need us to mother them. It is a perfect circle from start to finish.

What started as a gift from Mother to Child, should always be returned with that Thank you Note I mentioned.

Within three days.

Oh and eat your peas.

Happy Mother’s Day.

I hope you hit the Mother Lode…of love.

In case you, like me, need reading glasses to read small print, here is the full text:

My Mom is a Nag, a stream of consciousness, relentless where are you going, where have you been, what are you wearing, what were you thinking, when will you be home, who’s on the phone, why are you late, when will you be ready, how could you, why did you, when will you…snoop.

She sleeps with one eye open. 

She tracks me on radar. She knows what I am thinking before I do.

My Mom won’t leave me alone.

She promised.

I believe her. 


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