As I begin to write this, I have little idea where I am going with it. It will be interesting to find out.
Mother’s Day is meaningless without kids. Duh. I am very lucky to have great kids. I know we tried to be good parents but pretty much it is going with your gut (except those times that your brain quickly tells your gut that that is NOT the way to go!) and trying to do the best for your kids. Sometimes it is holding their hand and supporting them in their first steps, other times it is painfully, sitting on your hands and letting them takes the steps they have decided to take on their own. Both learning experiences that are necessary to grow. Despite our many well-meaning mistakes, our girls have grown into wonderful women. Whew!
I do not expect much of holidays in general. It would ache a bit if Mother’s Day were completely forgotten but I do not expect dinners and gifts and fireworks. I had a wonderful day. One of my daughters wrote a very thoughtful card, the kind that takes time to put down on paper, and the other daughter sent a gift that showed that she understands what is happening in my life right now. Both treasured gifts. Both girls called…even more treasures.
I thought a lot about my own Mother and Grandmothers today. I think of Mom every day in one way or another.
She was an extraordinary person, little but strong, strict but loving. She was a woman who you could always depend upon. She was a great cook and a homemaker par excellence. She had courage oozing out every unassuming pore of her body. Did she make mistakes as a parent, sure…who doesn’t? Do her children continue to love her without hesitation and think of her on this second Mother’s Day after her death…heck, yes. I send her the biggest hug right now. I feel her near me every day so it is not the first hug we have exchanged in the past few days.
My memories of my Grandmother Arras (Mom’s mom) are of a whistling, bustling woman who could cook up a storm.
The smell of homemade coffeecake wafting up the stairs in the early morning, homegrown green beans cooked so that your mouth watered just smelling them, a groaning dining table covered with a smorgasbord of dishes at holidays. I remember her exclaiming about the beauty of the songs my sisters and cousins and I played on the piano (none of us knew how to play…it must have been painful to be in the house while we were playing that piano). She dug in a can on her windowsill to give us coins to take with us downtown to buy something or other that we wanted. She judged “coloring book contests” that my older sister and cousin and I had ( I was five years younger and always lost). The little bottles of Pepsi in the pantry by the back door that we were allowed to have (one a week).
And my Gramma Benny (Benington)…
Another great cook. Giant sugar cookies, the size of football player hands. Cookies made with a recipe that only the most talented cooks can replicate without them tasting like cornbread. Finger pie (sugar or milky pie, stirred with her finger)…yum. Tasty Tater potato chips that she always had on hand because she knew some of us (me?) loved them. Her gnarled, arthritic fingers stroking a shoulder or a head or washing dishes in front of her back window at a sink that was so low it hurt your back to work over it for any length of time. Her playing cards with the best of them in Euchre tournaments that her sons and some of their children competed in. (I did not inherit the ability to count cards and play competitively and have not liked to play since the early days of attempting to play in those tournaments…)
I have been blessed to have wonderful women as role models in my family. I have been blessed to have wonderful women as daughters.
Happy Mother’s Day to me!