Before we went in to see the Christmas show put on by my daughter’s musical theatre group, my mother and I stopped to look at candid shots taken the night before at the rehearsal. A picture of my daughter appeared and my mother said:
“She looks so much like you at that age.”
I felt weak when I heard that, with relief and gratitude.
There is always mention of how much my children remind my inlaws of my husband. Whether it is good or bad – say one is smart or one is stubborn – my inlaws often say: ”I wonder who they get that from” while smiling at my husband.
It is funny how this can make a person feel redundant.
My side of the family rarely mention similarities between my children and me.
So standing there with my mother and hearing that escape her lips – almost as if she was taken aback at the resemblance between my daughter and me – made me love her even more than I already do.
I have been working on the Noah Scalin-inspired Make Something 365 this past year. I started on January 14 2012. So today, January 13 2013 is officially my final day of finding the moment in the day.
Already, this picture dates itself – taken a few weeks back, those red leaves are gone, the trees are bare. Sandy took care of that.
The kids in the morning as I stand with a sweater pulled around me, yawning. This year has been a different start for all of us. A walk to a bus stop with a friend for my daughter. A bike ride or scooter glide to school with buddies for my son.
And me on my own, making my way back home to an office and a cat, after I watch both kids disappear around the corner. If they were to look back and see, I think they’d think: Why is she still standing there? But they don’t look back.
The old deck of cards has gone to camp, out back too many times with my daughter. Dirty, bent, well used. I buy a new deck.
This one is green. There are no reds or blacks, just green. As my kids have slowly come to realize what a spade is, now they must recognize it without its blackness.
We teach them euchre. Though both kids figure it out quickly, my son grows frustrated.
“I said put a high off-suit down,” his father repeats after my son lays a nine of clubs to start.
“That’s the left bower, you know that, right?” again his Dad, another round. “Officially for this game that diamond is a heart.”
My son grows increasingly disheartened by our rules, wants to do things his way.
Though his father has been coaching him, he feels the tension rising from me and asks that he only be partnered with Daddy.
Robins are the best moms.
She hatched the egg and she flew around a lot and she protected her three eggs. She built the most perfect nest. She freaked out my cat.
Then two were born. She dive bombed me daily as I left the house in case I had thoughts of bringing her little hungry ones near harm.
Two days after the babies appeared, they were gone. Big birds, I guess. Crows or seagulls? I had tried to give the nest some space. Now it seems not to matter anymore. One lone unhatched imperfect blue egg rests in the temporary woven home. The mom is gone.
She worked to keep them safe, and in the end she couldn’t.
I am going to remember these robins and this nest and those two hungry babies reaching for food and the way she would shelter them with her body as she fed them.
It’s hard work being a mom. I didn’t think years ago that I was mom material but I know now that I am.
I know the robin doesn’t feel sadness. I feel it for her.
eighty-four years here
sixty years (plus) unbroken
love in shared laughter
My parents drinking Coke in the quarry with friends in high school. Could they be cooler? No.
The quotes are from Jann Arden’s ‘Good Mother’ – I cannot listen to this song without crying every time.