When I was little, my Mom had this rocking chair, kind of like a recliner, but I don’t really remember if it actually reclined or not, or if it just rocked. I do remember it was horribly flowered in 70s upholstery of orange, white and brown, and Mom was frequently found there. One of my favorite spots in the house was being tightly squeezed up against my Mom in that chair on the occasions she let me sit with her, which were many, since she’s kind of a lovely pushover and, as all small children are, I was horribly clingy and always wanted to sit with my Mom.
I remember lying on the floor, watching TV at night and falling asleep. My Mom would pick me up from the floor and carry me to bed. It was enough to wake me up so I probably could have walked to my bed on my own, but I would keep my eyes tightly squeezed shut and pretend to still be asleep. For some reason, being carried by my Mom (most likely waaaaay after I should have been carried) was one of the greatest things ever.
Even up through middle school, I remember getting up early for school on weekday mornings. My Mom would always already be awake in her room, waiting for me to come up the stairs from my bedroom. It was always best if I’d gotten up earlier than I really needed to, because then I would climb into my Mom’s bed and get another 10-15 minutes of sleep there. I remember there’s a particular smell, a certain comfort from being in her bed. I was never allowed to sleep there, but those few minutes in the morning were extra special, and I was always happy she allowed me to climb under her covers.
I think my Mom cried harder for me than I did when I called in tears to tell her that my first really important relationship had just come to an end because he’d broken up with me and I was going to move out. I’m a little convinced that if I needed her to, she’d hide the body for me.
It was my Mom that provided all the little things a person needs when getting their own apartment for the first time without roommates. All the things you don’t even realize you need when furnishing a place and setting up for the first time: a broom, utensils, ketchup, mustard, plates, garbage cans, shower curtain, etc. Especially when you’re flat broke at that point in your life. I still have many of the things she gave me back then all those years ago and I think of her every time I use them.
Even now, I’ll call my Mom when I’m really sick, to let her know. She’ll ask if I need her to do anything and I’ll say, “No, it just makes me feel better that you know I’m sick.” It makes me anxious when she’s 3000 miles away, on the other side of the country for a few months. I hate the thought that even though I may go that long without visiting home anyway, that I can’t just drive 100 miles and see her whenever I wanted.
I’m going to be a Mom in about two months. The thought of another human being counting on me, looking to me as a role model, learning things from me, wanting to sit with me in my recliner and thinking my bed smells good just because it smells like me, fills me with a sense of such overwhelming love for my unborn baby that it almost hurts. But it also fills me with a huge understanding of knowing how important a role it is that I’m about to play. I hope I can be half the woman my Mom is.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy…I love you so much.