About My Mother

Today is Mother’s Day.

And this is my mother:

There are some things you should know about my mother. But these things are hard to explain, and besides, we’re not really the type of family who would choose to explain them anyway.

So my mom is kind of funny. Not, like, haha, she tells jokes, funny. More like, wait, she said what? funny.

Last week, I was driving and my mom was in the passenger seat. It was kind of rainy and gray out, but, like, a bright-gray. I was starting to squint, so I asked my mom to get me my sunglasses.

She said, “It’s not sunny.”

And I said, “Yeah, well, I don’t want wrinkles.”

And she said, “Too late.”

Really. Those were her exact words.

I’ve had nearly 30 years to decipher mom-speak, and I’m pretty sure what my mother was saying was, “Who cares?”

Which is true. And that’s why I smiled.

As I write this, my mother is out teaching Kid #1 to ride a bike without training wheels. She said to me, “I guess I’d better do this. You’re kind of a lost cause.”

I’m not sure whether she was referring to my lack of athleticism or my lack of patience. But it’s true either way. And that’s why my daughter is still smiling out there.

So it should come as no surprise when I say that the person who critiqued FRACTURE was my mother. She doesn’t say things without meaning them. She is the person who would look over my homework in 3rd grade and ask, “Do you think this is the very best you can do?” And then I would mumble (I’m big at mumbling), grab the paper from her hand, and do it over. Because of course she was right.

So she’ll read my stuff now and say things like, “I don’t think you’re saying what you’re trying to say,” because she knows me well enough to know exactly what I’m trying to say, and when I’m not saying it. Or, in a throw-back to my 3rd grade spelling homework, she’ll say, “I think you can do this better.”

And she’ll be right.

And when she says, “I really, really like this. This is good,” I know she means it.

So my mom didn’t want anything for Mother’s Day, because she says Mother’s Day is for people with small kids who deserve a break. Which I’m pretty sure is her gift to me. And this is mine to her. This is my reminder that she still does tough Mom stuff all the time.

Case in point:

I was pregnant with Kid #2 and so nauseous I couldn’t get up in the morning, which is actually how I spent all of that pregnancy. But that particular morning, some part of my brain mentally threw in the towel. Kid #1 was in her crib, and I didn’t know what to do with the fact that I felt too sick to get out of bed.

So I called my mother. Because that’s what you do when you are in your mid-twenties and realize you actually have no idea what you’re doing. And I said, “There’s just no possible way I can get out of bed. I just can’t.”

And then there was this pause, and I thought maybe she was contemplating getting in the car and driving across 4 states, or telling me to call a friend for help, or saying it was okay if I stayed in bed for another hour. Just something. I was waiting for an out. And then she said, “Well, I don’t know what to tell you. You have to get up.”

So you’re probably thinking, Really? You’re thanking her for that? She didn’t do anything. But you’re wrong.

Because after I angrily hung up the phone, and after I chucked it off the end of the bed, and after I mumbled some less than kind words at the ceiling fan,

I got up.

So Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I know you’re reading this because you’ll be the first to point out any typos.

And you’ll be right.