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Motherlove (reprise)

May 7, 2010

Because it’s Mother’s Day weekend (and I’m really busy), I’m revisiting what I wrote a year ago about all of the things I liked about my mother last May.

Yup. Still good. Ziploc fresh.

Almost too fresh, really, as this time last year we were three weeks away from groundbreaking on our big addition, and today our stay at my mother’s house – as work continues on ours – is five months long and counting. I’m ready to be out (and in!), but I never forget how lucky I am to be able to borrow space in an already crowded house while ours sits in pieces that are steadily but slowly coming together.

*           *           *

I’m glad I live next door to my mother. Of course there is eye-rolling, and occasional moments of exasperation or misunderstanding. But most of the time it’s a lot of talking, laughing, sharing, commiserating.  She values her privacy and her space; she isn’t nosy or overbearing; for no good reason, she warns me not to take her advice, which is generally spot-on. Last week she taught me how to kill wasps with  a spray-bottle of soap and water (It works.). Years ago, she accurately forecasted that I’d eventually regret wearing heeled jelly sandals (I do).

We’ve never much celebrated Mother’s Day, save for the marigolds we grew at school to bring home as a surprise in elementary school, or the “gifts”  made from paper plates, construction paper, macaroni and glitter. But of course I have a lot to thank her for. Biology aside, she’s a source of good lessons, examples, practices, critiques, taste.  She’s honest and funny and generous. She’s responsible for my formative first encounters with spinach salad (Southern-style, warm, with plenty of bacon), movies on the big screen, the circus, the dentist’s office, journaling, photography. Aside from my father, she’s the most practical and tradition-bucking person I know – but she still knows what’s pretty, raised us to wear colors in season and dresses in church, reminds us to say “yes” rather than “yeah,” and has always warned against all things “tacky” (phone calls too early, too late or during the dinner hour).  She balances family with self, salad with cheesecake, home with away, good movies with bad TV, complaint with appreciation, practicality with frivolity. We share similar taste, a penchant for holding on to things we ought not keep, a tendency toward overreacting. (I wish I’d inherited her love of hard physical labor and weedeating, and I should probably be jealous that my sisters were bestowed more with her gumption and sense of adventure.) I’ve learned and am still learning much from her – about parenting, gardening, where I come from,  and how to open a beer or move a large piece of furniture with very limited resources.

*            *            *

Last year I wrote that what my mother wants for Mother’s Day is gardening-friendly weather and time to enjoy it. That part is also still true, and at least for our Saturday the forecast looks good. We’ll be kicking it all off tonight with your typical Mom-is-awesome evening at Hooters, where my brother’s band will be rocking the patio. (Making a mental note for next year? You’re welcome!)

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2010 10:54 am

    Y’all are not seriously going to Hooters tonight?

    • May 7, 2010 12:02 pm

      OH but we are. It’ll be my first time. I hear they have outstanding, uh, wings.
      To be honest, when it comes to family outings, Hooters is the most palatable place he plays – and it’s over at 9, which is earlier than his set usually starts. I’m not up for 2 a.m. anymore.

  2. May 7, 2010 2:15 pm

    Your mom sounds like quite the inspiration. Enjoy your Mother’s Day! 🙂

  3. May 7, 2010 6:11 pm

    What a lovely tribute to your mother. Happy Mother’s Day to both of you!

  4. May 7, 2010 10:48 pm

    It is always good to know how to open a beer in a pinch. Here’s to your mom! (And you. Happy Mother’s Day! Try to enjoy the, uh, wings tonight.) =>

  5. May 7, 2010 11:55 pm

    Wait, are you kidding? You celebrate Mother’s Day at Hooters?

    • May 8, 2010 1:48 pm

      We did go to Hooters last night, but not exactly in celebration of mother’s day. My brother has a band, and it isn’t often that he plays at a restaurant, outside (where the noise is slightly more diffused) and at 7 p.m. So we took the family to Hooters. You should see the coloring sheet they gave Jack.

  6. May 8, 2010 1:44 am

    My first trip to Hooter’s was with my parents. And the wings actually are good. My advice: wear a padded bra. It’ll help.
    Happy Mother’s Day!

    • May 9, 2010 7:28 pm

      I’ve known plenty of folks whose take on Hooters was “family-friendly.” On my first trip, it was certainly friendly!

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