I have been pretty silent lately in my writing. I’ve wanted to just soak up this time at the end of the school year catching up on things at home before the kids are here and we plan three months worth of fun. But tonight I wanted to just break my silence in a very simple way. No deep writing or processing thoughts. No poetry here. No rhyme or rhythm. Just freelancing my way through the memories I have of growing up with my mama. Doing our thing…
You are the reason I love tea so much.
You made disco music, Queen and Michael Jackson the beats of my childhood.
You sliced tomatoes and poured on some Italian dressing and it was a “thing.”
You showed me what hospitality looked like and how I could make people feel at home.
You always cheered me on when I’d spend hours a day playing that old, musty piano. But I think might’ve loved it had I taken a break during General Hospital.
You pretended not to hear when I shot whipped cream all over the ceiling that time I snuck the pumpkin pie during your nap. …or if you really didn’t hear me I guess I just let the cat out of the bag.
You took me to get my ears pierced on my ninth birthday and you told me to make sure I took good care of them. We had to re-pierce them. Twice.
You taught me how to love others before myself.
You made me realize that it was worth going that extra mile in the kitchen.
You called me your jack-of-all-trades because I fixed all the broken things in the house.
You never made me do my own laundry until it was time to move out.
You turned my Grease album around every night so that John Travolta couldn’t “see” me get into my pjs.
You didn’t get mad when I fed the pound of bacon you’d been frying for our dinner to the hungry neighbor boy. …but that set you back an hour.
You pulled the car out of the garage constantly just so I could roller-skate myself silly to Wham and Whitney Houston.
You taught me how to shoot my BB gun…and I was a good shot.
You didn’t get mad when Matthew and I licked the back of the Fruit Rollups and stuck them to my bedroom wall to see who’s could stick the longest.
But you did freak out that time I syphoned the gas out of the lawn mower to make rainbows in the puddles in the street gutters. Now that I’m older with kids of my own, I’ll admit that was a dumb thing to do.
You let me and the dog share carrot sticks and raw spaghetti.
You mowed the front yard and I mowed the back. …but I think this had something to do with the fact that you didn’t want me to plow down your flowers up front.
You always bought me my favorite soda at the store.
I’m sorry I ruined that new outfit climbing Mr. Hare’s mulberry tree.
You taught me a big lesson about stealing by telling me you were going to take me to the police station. Mr. Maddox had trouble keeping a straight face when I told him I’d stolen some of his dried corn to feed the squirrels at our house, too.
You forgot to pick me up the day I got off the bus and it was pouring down rain. I walked extra slow all the way home just so you’d feel bad. I was being a little punk that day.
You never missed one of my awards assemblies.
You let me read on the deck during the summer for hours on end.
You let me hole up in my bedroom singing boy band songs at the top of my lungs and never let on that you could hear me.
You made me appreciate Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn…and all the old actors and actresses.
You let me climb the trees so high that I’m sure you were inside praying I wouldn’t fall.
You were so mad that time I accidentally sprayed down the black car after you’d spent 2 hours waxing it. You forgave me.
You were so mad that time I accidentally cut a hole in the side of my new swimsuit when I tried to remove the sewn-in tag myself. You forgave me that time, too.
You made me chicken and dumplings a lot because it was my favorite meal.
You held me super tight the night we buried the dog. He was my closest companion.
You let me run the attic fan even when it wasn’t hot and even when you hated the noise just so I could fall asleep to the sound of it.
You let me watch all of the Royal Wedding with you. Princess Diana was a household name.
You took me shopping more often than I deserved. I SO appreciate the day you let me stop wearing corduroy. I will never wear it again.
You didn’t tell Dad the time I went to the principle’s office when I spit on that boy who said he wanted to marry me.
You dusted your Swarovski crystal every. single. day. …I kind of thought you were crazy. But then I moved out and it turns out I am just as crazy as you.
You rented all the old musicals when I was sick in bed. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Meet Me in St. Louis are still two of my favorites.
You let me play with the ornaments on the Christmas tree every year.
You were always freaked out when Dad let me get on the roof to help clean out the gutters. I never fell, but I almost did. Twice. I didn’t tell you…
You called me Fee Fee Marie when you were feeling silly. I hated that name, but I didn’t want to break your heart.
You told me that if I could, to have more than one baby. I guess I did a good job of that!
You loved me even when I was being hard to love.
I love you, Mom. And I don’t tell you enough. Thank you for molding me into the woman I am today and for teaching me that kindness and respect are so important. Thank you for teaching me how to be thoughtful and show hospitality to others. Thank you for teaching me to encourage others – I think it’s one of the most important things in life.
And thank you for telling me that I’d be a good mom. …because I love it so much.
“But behind all your stories is your mother’s story, because her’s is where your’s begins.”
Mitch Albom, For One More Day