Hooray for Mamas!!!

May 9, 2010

Happy happy mothers day! I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to pay a little tribute to my mama, who is amazing and wonderful and who I miss very much.

My mom is from Vermont. When I was growing up in Massachusetts every time she would see a Vermont license plate she would exclaim “look, a Vermonter!” I like to think that I am more of a Vermonter, too, and less of a Masshole. My mom has always loved the woods and nature, and easily passed that on to me and my sister. We grew up in a big old farm house on 4 acres  surrounded on three sides by woods where my parents grew sunflowers, corn, pole beans, tomatoes and more. I always loved being in the garden. I remember walking through, picking vegetables and collecting them in my skirt then settling down amidst the corn stalks to munch on my little raw veggie horde.

My mother really encouraged me and my sister to make art. People think that you’re born with artistic talent, which may be true to some degree, but I believe that inherited “talent” means nothing without practice and exposure. I love watching home videos from my childhood, they’re all so interesting! (My mother has a knack for editing the boring parts out) There are a few of me and Sarah sculpting with salt dough at the kitchen table. My mother asking us what we’ve made, we respond with, “it’s a lady” or “a birthday cake” to our lumpy creations. Later, my mother set up an art room for us where we did everything from paint and draw to sculpting with polymer clays. As my artistic abilities progressed, my mother taught me to add depth and shade to my work, to create realistic images of people. Once she sat for me while I drew a giant picture of her eye. I’ll always remember that because ever since then, eyes have been one of the easiest things for me to draw.

My mother was and is my best friend. When I was young and Sarah didn’t want to be burdened by an annoying little sister, my mom would sit with me in my room while I cried and complained. She would promise me that some day me and Sarah would be friends and she would stay with me until Sarah got jealous and knocked on the wall to get mom to come and hang out with her.

My mother tried not to give us much sugar. No sugary cereals or tons of cookies. We ate vegetables and didn’t drink soda. We weren’t allowed to watch much Tv (though I agree that this was for the best, I’ll always feel like I should have been allowed to watch Punky Brewster, which I would try to watch when she wasn’t in the room) We played outside all the time and went for walks in the woods to the creek near our house. Looking back it seems like we had a lot of rules (rules which I would impose on my own children, if I had them) but when I got to a point where I started to rebel, my mother let go. I was a very stubborn and hard-headed child and my mother knew that if she continued to deny me certain things, I would do them behind her back instead. Rather than create a rift between us, she allowed me to watch Tv and wear make-up, and our friendship endured.

I often brag about my mother. I’m so proud of how understanding and supporting she was and is. She is a constant source of inspiration to me. So here’s a word for my mama.

Mom, I love you! You are the strongest, most independent woman I know. I know you don’t think you are, but you are. No matter what goes wrong, you always find a way through it. You inspire me to be a stronger woman and to do what I believe in. You taught me that I could do whatever I set my mind to, and that has given me the strength to achieve what I have in my life. You taught me to follow my dreams and do what makes me happy. I’m constantly in awe of you and how you’ve lived through such hard times but rather than complaining and lying down, you’ve made it work. No matter what the obsticle, you find a way. You’ve put up with a lot and kept going no matter how unhappy a situation made you. That is amazing to me, who, when things are difficult runs the other way. I strive to be like you. To be strong in the face of hard-times, to be humble and understanding.

You were always there for me. No matter what, you were there for me. Now that I’m an adult, I know how hard those years were for you. You were so depressed and so unhappy in your marraige, getting very little (if any) support from my father. Yet through all those hard times, you never once displayed those feelings where we could see them. You were always happy and supportive and kind. You devoted your life to us, me and Sarah, and I am so grateful for that. In this age where most parents both work and kids are babysat by the Tv, you never let that happen to us. You constantly engaged us, found exciting things for us to do, and mediated our arguments. I know all that is in me that makes me kind, caring, compassionate, intuitive, and helpful comes from you. And without you in my life, I wouldn’t have had the constant unconditional love that all children deserve.

I hope to have children one day, as you know. The main thing that frightens me about it is that I’ll end up more like my father than you! I’m so afraid that I’ll be overwhelmed by my own responsibilities as a parent and “step out” in the same way my father did. I don’t have the incredible, dedicated and all-encompassing work-ethic that you do. I want to, but unfortunately that doesn’t come as easily to me as other things. I know that I will love my children as you loved us, but I want to be THERE. All the time. I want to want their company, the way you wanted ours. I hope that I can live up to the high standard of motherhood that you’ve set for me and I will try my very hardest to do it.

I love that I am becoming more and more like you every day. In my love for gardening, watching the birds, going for long walks, even my taste in music often leans in your direction these days (I’m listening to this amazing piano music right now that you would LOVE). I only hope that I can also develop the inner peace you seem to have, sitting alone in your garden, enjoying the quiet. I’ve watched you grow immensely as a person over these past years and I strive to grow in the same ways. To be able to say how I feel, even when I’m angry or upset, without yelling (not that you EVER yelled, but I wish I could stay calm the way you do). To just be able to state my needs and feelings with such clarity. I’m so proud of you for how far you’ve come and I am trying to follow in your footsteps.



One Response to “Hooray for Mamas!!!”

  1. What a fine tribute. I almost feel as if I know her. Well done.

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