Sunday, November 15, 2009

On Mothers and Daughters

Right about this time of year, regular as clockwork, dependable as the setting of the sun, I find myself getting melancholey and thinking of stuff. Now, as we all know, I AM a Problem Thinker so it shouldn't be surprising, this deep contemplation of mine.

I waver between sorrow and gratitude. Sorrow for the losses and loneliness, gratitude for the many Blessings I have. I miss my Family, I miss my childhood, I miss my Tribe. I miss the familiar places of my youth. I am grateful for my new Tribe, I am incredibly grateful for the paradise and cornucopia of richness of my home.

I have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. Even if I wind up spending it alone (I might just cook a turkey for leftovers) it'll all be well.

And one of my deepest Blessings is my Mommy. My Mama and I are as two peas in seperate pods. Grown of different types of peas. She's a Pole pea, I'm a Bush pea. :~) This has caused us no lack of consternation and frustration throughout my life, for both of us. Our differences are enough to make us butt heads, and our similarities are enough to make us butt heads.

As you might guess, we have spent much of our lives butting heads.

But my Mama is a wonderful, strong woman with a heart as big as Texas. I remember once, I was sent home from school and kicked off the bus for causing trouble. But I WASN'T. The kids behind me were. The bus driver was just fed up with their ofttimes violent shenanigans, and blew up. She wasn't feeling inclined to listen to another kid. The School was not inclined to listen to another kid, either. So I was sent home, with now, no way to get to school for the rest of the month for something I hadn't done. When Mama got home from work and I told her what happened, she took the next morning off, and drove me to school. She marched up to the bus driver, told her to get her hiney into the office NOW! and then proceeded to march into the office. With my hand held firmly in hers, she was every bit as intimidating as any drill sargeant. She read them all the riot act. I was back on the bus that afternoon.

Once we had a van big enough to transport the Irish and kids and accoutrement of dog shows hither and yon. It blew some part- transmission part, as I recall- and Mama took it to Car Doc (I THINK that was the name. They are no longer in business) for an estimate and repairs. They gave my Mom an estimate. Two days later, when we went to go pick it up, that estimate had tripled, and they refused to give the van back, or to honor the estimate. OR to produce what work had been done! My Amazon Princess Mom went down their entire counter with an armsweep and cleared it all to the floor. Then went home and hired a lawyer. Car Doc released our van at the estimate price the next week.

Once, I was feeding the horses, and Mom had gone into the shed to fetch more hay, when I heard ear-splitting terrifying shrieks of sheer horror. I came rushing into the shed, to find my Mama, the Amazon Princess, standing on a small chair screaming. I got her calmed down enough to divulge the nature of the beast who had so frightened her. My Mama, the bravest woman in the world besides my Grammy, had been treed by a mouse. I have to admit that I lost it. I just started to laugh so hard that I couldn't stand, and fell into the hay rolling in peels of laughter, later to be pummeled by flakes of hay by my brave and treed mama.

Another time, as we were riding our horses down the River bottom, Mama all dolled up in her new saddle, new boots, new fancy Western riding gear, new tooled leather bridle, me with my recalcitrant shetland pony Star (who in their right mind EVER gives a child a shetland? They are as mean as junkyard dogs! Get a Welch. Taller, yes, but EVER so much more companionable) with my well-oiled hand-me-down gear. I tried to tell Mama not to take the path she was aimed at, because there was a deep spot there, but Mama didn't listen to me. She was a VERY good rider, but I have always been in tune with horses. The horse Mama was riding LOVED water! LOVED it. Would drop and wallow in the shallowest bit of a mud puddle jut slike a pig. She whickered softly, I saw her ears prick deeply forward and an excited gleam flash in her eyes. I started to say "Mama! Watch ou...." and that horse bunny hopped into the deep spot and rolled. With Mama still attached. When the horse was done, Mama looked a wee tad bedraggled. All her beautiful clothes and all her new gear was caked and dripping with black eluvial river bottom silty sticky mud.

Oh and that was not the END of my poor mama's humiliation at the hooves of that rascally horse! Nay! Later, Mama was talking about something, and she turned just as a HUGE grasshopper flew straight into her open mouth! I heard a *crunch* and then a splutter more splutters, gagging and spitting as Mama tried to get that nasty grasshopper out of her mouth, along with that nasty brown "tobacco" stuff that squished grasshoppers emit. It was not a pretty sight. It was, however, a very FUNNY sight.

Mama has two birthdays. One is tomorrow, November 16th, which is the day she was born. The other one is the one she is most proud of, as that is her AA Birthday, the day she quit drinking. It's in April. I am so very proud of her! Our Family is all so very proud of her. It was a terrible struggle, and she deserves to be proud of this accomplishment.

For years, round about this time of year, Mama would disinherit me for one dumb reason or another, a threat to which I would shrug and tell her I was never in it for the money anyway. Round about this time of year, Mama and I would almost inevitably get into some kind of silly row. I wound up dreading this time of year. But we have both grown up, my Mommy and me.

Mama had me when she was still very young, and my Grammy kind of took over the job of raising me. When Mama had my sister Lynell, she was much better prepared to have a child. There were many times when I felt so sad that "Mama didn't love me like she loved Lynell", that "Lynell was always Mama's favorite", and all the typical sibling sorrow and Maternal angst. Now I know that Mama did the best she could. We all make mistakes that we wish we could take back. Sometimes we are not afforded the time to make it up. Sometimes we are not given the time to ask forgiveness, nor to give it.

I am Blessed. I get to see my Mommy for New Years', and spend some time with her, and I get to spend some time with my Tribe. We shall sing in the New Year, this shiney new bauble of 2010. I have the opportunity to have the time to be with my Mommy. It feels so incredibly blessed to find my True Friend in my Mother. I love you, Mommy!


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