Today is Mothers Day. Many people find it easy to think of all the wonderful things about their mothers. Things like wonderful relationships, memories of wonderful deeds done, or lessons taught. I have always known I came from a dysfunctional family. This day and age? who doesn’t? So, my memories are slightly different. I remember when I was about 6. I had done something I wasn’t supposed to do. Mom was going to punish me and I, being so smart, said, “You can’t spank me unless you can catch me”, and took off running. Knowing with certainty that my mother could in no way catch me, I was convinced I was safe. She set off after me, caught me and spanked me for my insolence as well as whatever infraction I had done. And then I remember when I was about 13 or so. It was Christmas time. My mother and I were watching my younger sisters and brother looking at our Christmas tree and the presents underneath. She turned to me and said, “You know we don’t have too much money. I hope you won’t be disappointed at your gifts this year.” I remember telling her that she always made our Christmases wonderful despite what we did or didn’t get. That was a heavy memory for someone so young. I remember her as always worrying. Worrying about everything. It is something I inherited from her. It took me almost 30 years to get to the place where I don’t worry so much. Worry takes so much energy and time out of your life. And it is usually about something you can do nothing to fix. I remember my first cookbook. I was probably 12 or so. (I was a chubby child. I remember eating very fast as a child, almost as if I didn’t, there would not be enough food to eat. We always had second helpings and deserts.) Back to the cookbook. I was so excited to cook something myself, following a recipe. I picked something sweet…wow…that memory has been with me my whole life, and finally, now at 61 years of age, I can’t remember what I cooked. Anyway, I was so proud and went to show mom my accomplishment. All mom had to say was, “Do you think you need to eat that?” Totally burst my bubble, hurt my feelings, and in retaliation, I ate the whole thing all by myself.
Interesting what kind of memories can surface from your childhood. My mother is now 84 years old. She still lives alone and can take care of herself and is in pretty good health. She lives out-of-state, but I am able to talk to her every week. I enjoy our talks as much as she does. So, yes, I love my mother. I just don’t have a lot of “Hallmark” memories. Maybe that’s a shame…maybe it is just normal for a lot of us. We’ve gotten closer the older we have become. I am grateful she is still here and grateful for the relationship we now have. I just hope my children will have more positive memories of me than negative ones.