Friday, May 09, 2008

Happy Early Mother's Day

Bambina and I were driving around the other day (we have to leave the house when the cleaning people come so I don't breathe in the vacuum dust, as well as just having to not be near people). Our usual (pathetic and sad but fun for us) routine is to drive while singing REALLY LOUDLY to a Dan Zanes band CD. It's the highlight of our week. We turn up the volume, roll down the windows, and make like hillbillies, blasting our music while yelling Yee-Haw! Only, we're blasting Dan Zanes. And we're driving a family car. But it's good times regardless.

We stopped at a park where we'll usually read a book or three, and Bambina said that she wanted to read "the mom book." I said I didn't know what book that was. "The one back here, Mama." "Sweet Girl, I don't know what book that is." "The one behind your chair!" "What?" She got out of her chair, completely annoyed at my ignorance, and slid a gift bag out from under the driver's seat. A clearly-supposed-to-be-hidden-till-Sunday gift bag with a Happy Mother's Day book in it. I started laughing. "Oh. THAT book! What a nice book!" So I helped her decorate it with the enclosed stickers and helped her write me a 'surprise' message. Too funny. Then she sang me a mother song she learned in preschool that made me all smiley inside: "mommy is beautiful, mommy is nice. Mommy gives me kisses in the morning and the night..."

I like Mother's Day. But I get that I'm not the average mother. I'm not--and I'm comfortable that I'm not--the mother about whom you can needlepoint a cushion. For example:

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan

Nope. I say that you get a knife and make an extra slice. Because Mama likes her pie.

Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible. ~Marion C. Garretty, quoted in A Little Spoonful of Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul

Nope. Sometimes mother love is precisely the fuel that enables a normal human to tell her kid that normal humans can't do three things at once, can't be at your beckon call, and can't--rather won't--do the impossible for you because that ain't how the world works.

No one in the world can take the place of your mother. Right or wrong, from her viewpoint you are always right. She may scold you for little things, but never for the big ones. ~Harry Truman

Nope. Mama is indeed going to tell you when you've effed up...especially the big ones. Moms whose kids are always right, right or wrong, are raising a**holes. And Mama ain't raisin' no a**hole, not even to make Harry Truman like me.

But if you're going to make me a needlepoint cushion regardless, you might as well sew this:

Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother's love is not. ~James Joyce

Happy Mother's Day to you and your dunghill!

1 comment:

Utah Savage said...

What a lovely Mother's day piece. Oh how I wish I'd had a mother like you.

Mother's day was the wort day of the year for me forever. My mother treated me like shit from beginning to end and I was her only child. Some of my early memories of my mother are of her telling her shocked women friends how much she hated motherhood. And I can certainly attest to the way that made me feel.

Bambina will probably always love Mother's day.