I remember you used to braid my hair. With fat red yarn tied at the ends so I could just see it when I'd run and it would bob along with me. And you'd let me have a spray of your perfume, too - so I could smell like you, the prettiest Mom on the block. You were amazing and smart - you knew all the words to my jumping-rope rhymes, and then you astounded me by teaching me things my teachers hadn't - how could you know things before my beloved Miss Beers or Mrs Morey did? And how were you always right?
You pointed out the best books and told me finger-plays and stories about people that have stayed with me until now - I tell my kids those stories, have I ever told you that? I should.
You loved me ferociously, even when I was a knock-kneed, early teenager with a bad case of angst, and continued loving me all through the time it took me to figure out who I was. Even now I can still hear in your voice that I amuse you, that you're caught aback that your daughter thinks something so different than you do, and that you're proud of it.
You raised me to have an open mind.
I tried so hard not to be you while I was growing up that now when I blurt out a phrase you used it still surprises me. I can feel my opinions beginning to shift as my children grow up, too, to more closely mirror yours (although this does NOT apply to politics, hee, and probably won't, ever) and I love that I can call you, to talk things out or to share news or to tell you how much I miss you.
Because I do miss you, you know. It's not always easy living this far away from your Mom.
But I do know your love stretches and enfolds me even this far away.
As it always did.
Happy Mothers Day, Mamacita.
photo credit: Edw. J. Van Dyne. 1971
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