Today is Mother’s Day, and today I honour my little momma. I apologize that the photos are a little foggy: there was a scanner issue, so I had to photograph the photographs; a little something may have gotten lost in translation.
Big juicy thanks to Stephanie S. at A Professor’s Wife for helping me decide to write about my mother.
When I was a little girl, I remember my momma:
always making cookies from scratch
I still have a bias against store-bought “cookies.” When she handed out the cookies to my brother and I, she’d sing, “Who stole the cookie from the cook-EE jar? Was it you sister Kay?”
sewing my halloween costumes
I was one of the only kids in my classes at school to have a homemade costume every year. I was Rainbow Bright, I was Minnie Mouse, I was She-ra, Princess of Power, and my little momma made them all from scratch, often sewing late into the night.
rocking my screaming baby brother into the wee hours
She was up most of the night with him for months on end during his fussy period. Somehow, she managed to get to work, cook our meals, and keep our house together on almost no sleep.
taking us on mini “holidays” in the summertime
When we were small, my mom had summers off when we were out of school. She would load us into the mini van and we’d be off for a day or two of fun. The three of us went to Drumheller to see the dinosaurs, Calgary Zoo to see the animals (and the dinosaurs) and to Fort Edmonton, where we could be grateful for indoor plumbing and that our wardrobes were not entirely made of wool.
When I was an awkward teenager, I remember my momma:
driving me all over creation
In addition to being in school, I had a thousand and one activities on the go. My mom drove me to 4-H meetings, dance classes and competitions, piano practices and recitals, public speaking competitions, and to work when I was old enough to have a job. She made sure I got where I had to be, and then she cheered me on once we got there.
keeping an eye on things
Bless her, my mom always made sure that nothing untoward was going on when I had a boy over. I remember one evening in particular when I was doing math homework with a boy in the basement, and my momma a) vacuumed the entire basement (even though it had already been done that day), b) made a tray of cookies from scratch and brought them down on a plate, and c) kept popping downstairs, “just to see if we needed anything.” It was all good though, Momma. No boy who wanted to live to adulthood would have tried anything; they were way too scared of Dad.
staying up to help me with school
My momma always proofread my essays and other big stuff for school. Many, many nights, she went over the things I wrote to make sure I didn’t miss anything. She could have been snug in her bed, reading some girly novel, and instead she was checking over papers on thrilling topics like the fur trade and symbolism in The Count of Monte Cristo.
letting me be my eccentric self
When I started wearing electric blue nail polish, my momma didn’t say much, but she didn’t seem to mind. When I wore old men’s bell-bottomed dress pants from Value Village, and polyester everything (in 1997, not 1977) she didn’t say a word. When I started talking about taking a BFA after highschool, she and Dad drove me to Calgary to check out the campus and registration requirements. When I painted one mural and chalked and sealed another on my bedroom walls, Momma praised my creativity and tried to ignore what a pain it was going to be to paint that room in the future.
Since I’ve been an adult, I remember my momma:
helping me whenever I’ve moved
Like all “grownups,” school, life, and other crap has caused me to relocate numerous times. Every time I’ve had to move, my little momma has helped me, hauling boxes, washing walls, running to Safeway to return the rented carpet scrubber. At a time that often acts as a litmus test of who really has your back, my momma has undoubtedly been right behind me, masking tape in hand.
looking after my post-surgical self
I’ve had four different operations since moving to the “big city.” My momma has taken time off work to take care of me after every one of those procedures. She has cleaned up my vomit and filled my prescriptions. She has done my laundry and made sure I had enough clear fluids and took my painkillers on time. For a couple of awkward days after the biggest one, she helped me in and out of the shower. Sometimes, a girl just needs her momma when she feels like garbage, and mine has always been there.
talking shop with me
Momma works with kids. I work with kids. We have spent a great deal of time on the phone talking about our experiences at our very different but fundamentally similar jobs. It’s interesting to talk to a parent as one adult to another. Somedays, it’s great to talk to the woman who raised me, and to thank her for giving me a childhood that was so much better than many I find out about.
doing the things she wants to do
Now that the kids are all grown up (or at least gotten as mature as we’re getting) Momma is doing more things for herself. In the warmer months, I call late in the evenings because I know she’ll be out in her garden, “digging in the dirt.” She and Dad have travelled to numerous destinations and are getting to go have fun together after many years of busy careers and parenting. In the last few years, she’s become an exercise enthusiast, and attends classes at her gym several times a week. My mom is in the best shape she’s been in since I’ve known her, and it makes me happy to see how much she enjoys being active and smokin’ hot.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the women out there who have given their hearts, time, and energy to their children. Wherever we are today, you’re a big part of the reason we’ve arrived.
Love you, Momma.
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