One of my favorite memories of my mother came when she was in the hospital…dying of cancer. We were rarely alone during her last days as many in our family would come and go. We never ever left her alone. So it was surprising to suddenly find myself alone in the room with her. And since I thought she was sleeping, it was also surprising to look up and find her staring at me.
I smiled at her, wondering what she was thinking.
But she just kept staring. What was going through her mind? Did she need something?
And then she said, “You know…of all my children…you are the one who looks most like me.”
I smiled again.
She continued to stare. Then……after a long pregnant pause she said, “Sorry.”
I burst out laughing.
Mom and I had never placed our self esteem in the I’m-so-beautiful bucket. We were always two very practical and hard working women. We dressed up only when required and would much rather be out in the garden or fishing by the lake.
We married well.
Raised children we loved.
And generally enjoyed life, even if our ride took us via the short-and-stumpy route. So the treasure in this comment wasn’t about our mutual lament at not having grown up beautiful. The treasure was the laughable frankness of my mom…something I’ve inherited…something I’ve clearly passed along to my son.
Once when he was about 8 I had lost a considerable amount of weight. My husband hadn’t really noticed. And I was giving him a bit of ribbing about it. Now to be fair to my husband, while he doesn’t notice my weight losses, he also doesn’t notice my weight gains. That obliviousness that can be so frustrating clearly can also be your friend. So my ribbing was only in jest. But my son, fearing that my feelings were truly hurt, came rallying to my defense.
“I’m so sorry Mom that Dad didn’t notice you’ve lost weight. ANY one could tell you’ve lost weight. I can’t believe he hasn’t noticed. You’re clearly thinner. You’re clothes fit better. And your arms are so flabby now.”
There it was again.
Naked words expressed before thought had the time to edit them.
This quality of our Sizzlers is one of the most delightful parts of being with them. Thoughts emerge from their mouths completely unabridged. You never have to wonder what they’re thinking. I’m sure there are some benefits to the quiet thoughtful child. But I wouldn’t trade my family’s funny missteps for all the tightly orchestrated and beautifully delivered speeches in the world.
On this Mother’s Day, you may well be given the sweetest of Mother’s Day wishes. Your child may share the affection for you in a way that is both beautiful and touching. However, I also know it’s possible that it may play a little differently. Especially if your child has inherited that impulsive speech thing my mom and I shared. It’s even possible, they won’t note the importance of this day at all.
So just in case, I wanted to let you know that I think you are a WONDERFUL mom.
I know simply by virtue of the fact that you’ve come to Sizzle Bop, that you are a mom always searching, always looking for yet another way to love this child.
I know that you have developed a secondary part of your brain that wasn’t there before you had children. Before you simply decided what you wanted to do. But now, every decision must go through that second “brain” to determine if it will be good for your children.
I know that some days your child makes you tired, brings out a level of frustration you didn’t know you had and that you say some things you wish you hadn’t.
I also know, that you love this child more than life itself, and would do anything to give them the tools to succeed.
And finally, I know that love covers a multitude of our mistakes. So love deeply. Write your life’s plans in pencil with the erasure ever at the ready. And laugh at every opportunity. And with kids like ours, there will opportunities aplenty.
Happy Mother’s Day.