just letters · recipes

mother’s day # 3

dear silly girl,

my day started early-ish. i skipped church, got up before you and daddy, and went to gran’s to cook.

i make a big deal out of mother’s day for gran. i cook so she doesn’t have to, make her favorite dessert, and buy her presents. i also buy mema (my mom) presents and take them to her. she’s just kind of a loose cannon and you never really know if you are going to see her, holiday or not.

i stayed up there talking to gran and mema (who showed up), mostly complaining about my sister and nephew. isn’t that awful? maybe. but it’s true. they ride my last nerve and gran is the only one who will listen and complain with me. mama just kind of sat there saying nothing.

we waited for papa to get home from church before we started eating. gran requested hot dogs (which she can’t really eat) and that i make strawberry trifle. hot dogs are not my thing and i can’t really figure out why that’s what gran wanted, but i digress.

daddy got me a really sweet card and you remembered to say happy mother’s day and i love you when you walked in the door. it was perfect.

all i really wanted was a nap and some time to myself. some chocolate wouldn’t have hurt, but i seriously don’t need that.

i make a big deal out of mother’s day for everyone but myself. which i guess is a true definition of what motherhood is. it’s caring about someone else’s needs more than your own needs. their wants more than your wants. and it’s not something that can be helped. it just happens. it’s also about loving someone else so much that you can’t explain it, and you can’t fully show it, and no matter what you do, feeling like the person you love has no idea just how much and never will.

but they will.

one day when they have children of their own, they will know. exhaustion and parenthood will produce a kind of understanding, forgiveness, compassion, and love that nothing else can. for your own children and for your parents. especially for your mother.

my mother isn’t perfect. she’s made a lot of mistakes. more than many mothers and fewer than others. we have a weird relationship with a noticeable lack of communication and connection, but she’s still my mom. she may just sit in a chair, not saying anything, not telling me bye when she leaves, but i’d still rather have her as my mother than anyone else.

i mistakenly thought for a while that i’d rather have someone else as my mom, but no matter who you think would do a better job, if you look closely, there are  inconsistencies in everyone. no one is who they are cracked up to be. no matter what another woman does better than your mom, she will also do other things that annoy you more than your mom ever could, if you really get to know her. my mom lives in her own world and can walk to her car a few hundred feet from me and not wave. but i know for a fact that it would drive me insane if she was clingy or expected me to call her everyday. my mom doesn’t ask anyone to do anything for her (unless her car has been impounded) and even though our disconnect bothers me from time to time, i’d be bat crap crazy if she was any other way. maybe it’s how i was raised. maybe it’s because that’s what i’m used to after 28 years of knowing her.

my point here is this: no one is perfect. not my mom, not your mom. i will make mistakes (hopefully different ones). i will annoy you. i will have quirks that you can’t come to terms with (probably). but i love you and my mom loves me . and no matter what disappoints you or me or her, that is a fact. and the job is to do the best you can and to let the rest of it go. it doesn’t excuse hurts, but life is life and motherhood can be tough.

i just hope that no matter when you get this, no matter where you are, what you’re doing, or what you’re not, you will always know that i love you and i’m so glad that i’m your mom. i’m so glad you’re the one i get to have happy moments with, comfort, share sadness with, and the one i hope to keep from needing therapy.

i hope that one day when you look back, you will be able to do so with humor instead of anger or disappointment. i hope you will be able to say she really loved me and excuse me for the times when i had no idea what i was doing.

you are the reason i get to be celebrated today. you are the reason i can look at life in a whole new way. you are the greatest challenge and gift i could ever receive.

and i wouldn’t trade you for anything or anyone else in the world.

i love you!

forever,

your mama

Strawberry Trifle

1 angel food cake

1 pack vanilla pudding, prepared

1 large container frozen strawberry slices (in the container with sugar and the juice), thawed.

1 large container of cool whip

1 large bowl

crumble your angel food cake into bite-sized pieces. put a couple spoonfuls of vanilla pudding on the bottom. place a couple of handfuls of crumbled angel food cake on top of it. pour some strawberries (including juice) over the angel food cake. spread a couple spoonfuls of cool whip over the strawberries. repeat until bowl is completely full, finishing with the cool whip. refrigerate.

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