As we honor our Mothers today, these are the thoughts that come to my mind when I think of my Mom.
I think of all the beautiful handmade dresses she sewed for me, not only out of necessity but also because what she made felt so much better than store bought to me. I think of every single Christmas, no matter how little or how much money we had, as being the best Christmases a kid could ever have. I think of Elvis and his Christmas album because that one was and is Mom’s favorite and Christmas isn’t complete for me to this day without hearing Elvis sing. I think of the cookies baked for an entire high school marching band after I gave her one night’s notice. I think of my Granny who kept me and my brother while my Mom worked so hard for our family. I think of all the nights she prayed for me, that I would follow the right path and either not go down or to get off of the wrong one.
I think of her spending many nights with me and E in hospital rooms with our children. I think of her being there when our son Landon was born and the many hospital stays that followed leading up to and after his colostomy. I think of her getting Landon to me without a moment to spare so I could say goodbye to him because things went very wrong and they had to fly me to Dallas to give birth to our daughter Gracie. I think of her kissing me goodbye, holding Landon and trying to be brave for me. I think of her being there when the Doctor told me and E that Gracie probably wouldn’t make it through the weekend. I think of her having to make the drive back to East Texas from Dallas right after that Doctor’s conference, back to my Dad who was watching Landon, crying the entire drive by herself. I think of her doting on her grandchildren and making them feel so special every time we visit, which is harder now that we’re further away. I think of all the things she still makes by hand for me and my family and the fact that those things are still so much better than anything store bought. I think of how she insists that even when I was almost 100 pounds heavier, I was still beautiful.
On the lighter side, I think of how alarming it is that she relies on me as her computer expert. I think of her continued refusal to type in nothing but all caps on Facebook, even though I’ve pointed out her faux pas, and her insistence that she can’t see “small letters” anymore. I think of laughing with her just yesterday over how she and I used to pretend we were asleep when we were in the hospital with Landon because the med students just asked the same questions over and over every single morning. I think of her recent acceptance of my magenta hair and the acknowledgement that I could do far worse to disgrace the family.
I think of love, strength, fierce protection, faith and hope.
Landon’s favorite book as a child was “Corduroy“. Gracie’s favorite book was “The Runaway Bunny“. I practically have both of these books memorized, I read them to my children so many times. Both of these books are about home and belonging. Corduroy finally finds a home and everything he’d been longing for, even with the flaw of missing a button on his overalls. The Runaway Bunny threatens to become multiple things to run away from his Mom and his Mother counters each one. Near the end of the story, he threatens to “join a circus and fly away on a flying trapeze”. His Mother replies “I will become a tightrope walker and I will walk across the air to you”.
I’ve learned after these many years of having a Mother and being a Mother, that is exactly what we are. Tightrope walkers.
Here are a few pictures of me being both a daughter and a Mom:
And finally, I had to include this picture of my friend Don’s Mom. Don and I went to school together in the same small Texas town. I knew his Mother and she was a wonderful lady. This is a picture of her, attempting to console an obviously very distraught Don, all while desperately clinging to her “happy place”. This picture makes me smile every time he posts it and I wonder what she was listening to. She was apparently an advanced tightrope walker.
Happy Mother’s Day! I hope all of you Tightrope Walkers out there have a beautiful day.
What a beautiful view from your tightrope! Thank you for writing this, it’s a beautiful homage to your Mom and your own children – and what a complete circle looks like. Happy Mother’s Day, my beautiful magenta-haired friend.