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Archive for May 10th, 2009

Mother’s Day Reflections

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Mother's Day

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, I am my mother after all,” reads a plaque I’ve noticed in store displays. It is meant as a rueful acknowledgment of the inevitability of genetic imprinting in the mother-daughter dance. We turn into some version of our mothers, is the message – never mind whether we want to or not.

In my case, that’s a good thing if it does come to pass. My mother was someone that everybody adored. So far, I’m a little short on the receiving end of the adoration factor, but who knows? It could happen, I guess. I’m open to the possibility – although to be honest, the only “mom” trait I see surfacing recently is the sudden inability to throw out leftovers.

I used to make fun of my mother for saving miniscule amounts of food that didn’t get eaten–a tablespoon of potato salad, a dab of this and that.

“You never know,” she’d shrug when I mocked this practice. “Someone may want it.”

A week later she’d throw it out. Which is pretty much the same cycle observed in my kitchen these days.

When I was in high school I began to realize how lucky I was in the matter of mothers. I had a friend – we’ll call her Beauty for the sake of anonymity – who was by any standard drop-dead gorgeous. Her mother was a holy terror, the likes of which I had never encountered. Beauty was a girl all of us envied – black hair and blue eyes, creamy skin and a perfect body. If that was not enough, she was one of the smartest kids in school, as well as athletically gifted. And she was nice on top of it! None of that seemed to matter to her mother who regularly berated Beauty in my presence and made insane predictions about the hopelessness of her daughter’s future. Indeed it was likely none of us would amount to much, according to her regular rants.

My mother was a good listener, so over the years many of my friends used her as a sounding board. Even when I went through snitty bouts of teenage rebellion, it was hard to maintain a decent level of resentment against her, especially after I was exposed to truly awful models of maternal behavior. In college I met girls whose mothers were ice queens incapable of expressing affection or drama queens in constant emotional overdrive.

As Mother’s Day approaches I can’t say that my mom is any more present in my thoughts than at other times. She’s always there, but I wish she could join us for a family gathering. She’d be so proud of her grandsons and take such delight in her great-granddaughter.

And I would take the opportunity – as I probably did not, often enough – to tell her what a great mother she was.

Colleen Kerry Warren

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Written by MattAndJojang

May 10, 2009 at 9:57 am