Tag Archive | growing up

My mom

I am sure that there will be about a billion and two posts about moms and Mother’s Day this weekend, so I know I am not unique, but, being new to the blog scene, I think it’s a really great opportunity to share some of my best memories of my mom.  These are some of the things she has done to make her, well, herself.  Actually there are so many things Icould write about, but these are just a few that really kind of give me a warm glow, and make me realize how much she did for me, and never asked for anything in return. 

When I was a kid, I was in a pretty bad car accident and spent a lot of time in the hospital and then recuperating at home.  When I first came home, I guess I was around 5.  For a while I had trouble walking and used to stay on the living room couch.  I don’t really remember that much about the time.  It was a long time ago, after all.  However, I do remember with great fondness that she would make me sandwiches for lunch and always cut up some carrot sticks or pickles and lay them on top of the sandwich.  Sometimes she cut the sandwich into small squares or triangles to make it interesting.  It really showed how much she strove to make my day fun and happy, even though I am sure that she was stressed and worried about my health, and about her own personal life and that of my father.

Another memory I have which is really a good one, is that when I was in junior high school and high school, we would take a ‘mental health day’ as she called it.  Once a year, towards the end of course, she would call me out sick from school and take me to the beach, or exploring somewhere fun.  It would be just the two of us.  Since I had no siblings, this probably was not as hugely momentous as if I was in a family of five, but again it helped us to keep our bond, which has never broken, despite the inevitable teenage bickering and the hectic lives that we now lead.

The last one I am going to share is just a very simple one, but I think about it often, especially when sick.  I was in my twenties and I had the good fortune to be living fairly close to my parents, about 15 minutes.  In fact I have not lived that close since.  I had a cold, or maybe sinus infection, and was feeling pretty lousy.  My mom stopped at the local diner on her way home, which made incredible matzoh ball soup, and picked me up a container and brought it to my apartment, not far but not really on her way home.  I have always maintained that chicken broth makes me feel better, and its the one main thing I do for a cold.  I know that just the act of my mother bringing a carton of soup to me was what really made me recover.  She took care of me, and that was what really mattered. 

People always say that you really don’t begin to grasp what a mother does until you have children of your own.  I think in part it’s true.  But if you love someone so much that you’re willing to do almost anything to help them and protect them, than you get the idea, even if you have no children.   Now that I have two of my own, both of whom are always moving in opposite directions, I really appreciate how much my mother gave to me and helped prepare me to be an independent woman.   I only hope that when my daughters are my age they will be able to look back on their childhood with such fond memories.  No flowers, candy, or even  reciprocating saw (which my mom got one year) can ever say how much is in my heart when I think of my mom.  Happy Mother’s day to all of us moms.  Especially mine. I love you, mom.

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I am my parents

When you are a kid, you try as hard as you can to push the boundaries and be your own little person.  When you become a teenager, you ignore your genetic make up, and insist you have been adopted.  You deny that you will ever be like your parents.  As you grow older and start actually behaving like an adult, you start to realize how very much like your parents, biological or otherwise, you are.  It some times amazes me how much I am like my parents.  Growing up, I was a lucky kid.  There is no doubt about that, and I have pretty much always known it.  My parents had their quirks and refused to give up their individualities to become mindless parents at my beck and call, not that I wouldn’t have minded that at some points.  I got to tag along on a lot of my mother’s craft shows since she was an artist, and also go into the ‘big city’ (aka New York) with my dad where he was an executive.  So I saw both ends of the spectrum on career day.  As I grew older, my mother went back to school, completely changing the feel of our family to one slightly more conventional.  My dad’s quiet yet deeply intellectual personality balanced my mother’s highly energetic fun yet sometimes maddening person.  My dad was always a writer.  He had been a journalist, and had a great flair for writing and story telling, which I now hear my own kids listening too eagerly.  As for myself, I also loved to write, just like my dad.  I had some of my mother’s incredible talent for art, but much, much less.   One thing I lacked was passion.  But you don’t really think about that where you are growing up.  Now I realize it was that passion that kept my mom working those long hard hours making and selling pottery and although my dad’s passion was more subdued, it was there.  You could hear it in his voice when he talked about various subjects and especially showed in his diverse knowledge and love of reading.  But as I said, I didn’t really have that.  I did the college thing, kind of liked history and literature and hence got a degree that, unless taken farther wouldn’t do me much good.  OK well I guess I could have joined a renaissance fair with a degree in medieval studies.  Now I realize I took that path to prevent me from having any real responsibilities.  From there I sort of wandered around the corporate world in low-ish level jobs.  I kept writing as a hobby, on the  back burner until the last few years.  Lately it has become kind of an obsession of mine.  I don’t have the best imagination, kind of a difficult thing if you are trying to write fiction, but I found my comfort zone.  In researching and writing, and also in the creation of this blog, I have spent a lot of time thinking about my motivations and how I came to be the person I am today.  I realize now how very much my parents actions, not words, shaped me as an adult.    I certainly don’t have my mothers boundless energy and wide areas of interest, nor do I have quite my father’s thirst for information and intense knowledge of the world, but I can see that it isn’t that I lack passion, it’s just that I never allowed it to flourish.  I see in me the same way my mother would throw herself into a project 150% and then move on when it was done, never staying still for very long.  I have that to a lesser degree, but the urge to keep moving is there.  I also see my fathers love of writing in me, and just recently found that we share many other views, even though we have never really spoken about them.  Now at the wise old age of 37,  (OK I really am not wise) I have started thinking more and more about my beginnings, and I think that’s in part from watching my children experience things I did when I was little.  I can see my parents very clearly in the ways I interact with my daughters.  I have come to the conclusion that we are all much more like our parents than we thought or hoped we were.    It gives me great comfort to find that I really am like the people who I most admire.  I am proud to feel a such connection with them, even when we don’t speak every day.