My Mom and I have had a complicated relationship my whole life. She fell while pregnant with me and freely admits to dropping me on my head as a baby (which she says explains a lot about me). 🙂 Anyway, like most teenagers, life was difficult between us and only improved when I moved away to college. We’ve had our ups and downs since but are pretty close now. She can still get me with her passive aggressive, Catholic guilt which she has honed to perfection, but she can also be my biggest supporter when I need it. She is a morning person, I am a night owl. She likes sunshine, I like darkness. She very social and talkative, I prefer solitude. She likes to go out shopping, I can barely imagine a more effective torture technique for me. She gladly speaks to strangers, I scowl at anyone who gets in my way. We are opposites, that is for sure, but we are both very loyal to those we love and care about and that is the bond that keeps us together. We both love our dogs although she does not like my answer to her repeated suggestions about me “finding a man and giving her some grandchildren” (my reply is that I have given her two grandsons, even if they are furry with four legs). When she suggested I freeze my eggs as I age, I told her she was out of her mind. Not everyone is meant to be a mom and I am very content with my decision not to be a parent. Parenting is a huge responsibility and the most important job there is and one that I would never enter into lightly, unlike so many people out there. It breaks my heart to hear about child abuse and neglect.
I’ve always been exceptionally close to my Mom’s mom who died five years ago this past February 18. Her birthday is May 25 and thus between Mother’s day and my Grandma’s birthday, May has become a difficult month for my family for the past five years. I miss my Grandma every single day. She used to dance around the house singing “All of Me” every night when I’d stay with them on vacation. She was my constant sounding board when my Mom and I had difficulties and was a source of strength for me during my dark times.
So this Mother’s Day, like the past 4, my Mom and I will spend together in tears and laughter as we reminisce about the amazing woman that my Grandma was and all of the great times we had together. So to end this post, I will share one of my favorite vacation moments.
It was the summer of 1989 and we had rented the usual two neighboring cabins on the edges of the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in Mercer, WI. As I did every year, I drove up with my grandparents in one car and my brother drove with our parents in another car, hauling our fishing boat. I stayed with my grandparents and planned to spend the week fishing with my Brother, Father, and Grandfather and avoiding the garage sale and shopping trips that my Grandma and Mom would try to drag me along to. I didn’t always win these debates and on the one day of the week that I was left behind to spend the day with my Grandma and Mom, we had some excitement in our cabin. There was a screened-in front porch on the cabin my Grandparents and I were staying in. I was in the cabin with my Mom and my Grandma entered the outer door of the screen porch and then screamed. She had let a chipmunk into the screen porch. She opened the door and tried to get it to stay open so the chipmunk would leave when a garter snake slithered in. That was it. She screamed and ran into the main cabin with my Mom and me. I kept offering to go out there and open the door to let the critters out, but Mom and Grandma (now standing on the couch together screaming) told me not to do it. I might end up letting the critters into the main cabin. Rolling my eyes, I had to keep watch at one of the windows so I could alert my Grandfather when he returned from fishing so he could catch and release the critters, which after he returned several hours later, he did. My nerves were fried from dealing with two very hysterical women who would not get off the couch which just fed my aggravation from being forced to go to garage sales and “be nice.” I laugh about it to this day because only my Grandma could keep a door open long enough to let a snake slither in to join the freaked out chipmunk.
On that note, Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Mom’s out there, whether their children have two legs or four. 🙂