Suburban Snapshots

It Was Either This or a
Macaroni Necklace

Saturday, May 12, 2012

You can't ever buy your mom a big enough Mother's Day present. Every day there's something you do that you learned from her; before kids maybe it was the way you organized your dresser or how you drove, after kids you realize that almost every part of parenting — the stuff you keep and what you swear you'll never do — comes from your own parents. These moments are where you find your mom, these are the ways you thank her.

So we go about our day hearing our mothers' words falling from our lips a hundred times. She's there when I talk impatiently to Anna through clenched teeth, and when I pinch her rear-end just because it's within reach. Mom's around when I'm singing in the car and Anna tells me to be quiet. If I lose sight of Anna in a shop aisle, I remember my mom's story about being so sick and pregnant with my sister she sent me into a drug store alone when I was just four.

I think of Mom when I cut an X across Anna's PBJ and call it a butterfly, or show her how to press criss-crosses into peanut butter cookies. I don't let Anna taste my meatballs before they're cooked, when all the spices and meat smell so fresh and inviting, but Mom is there when Anna helps me shape them with her little hands. When I let her stay home from preschool because she looked at me the right way when she asked, I remember all the times Mom and I would go to Friendly's while the rest of my eighth-grade history class sat through Mr. Anderson's tedious lessons.

My mom's maybe always meant yes, and Anna is quickly learning that my policy is much the same (and that Grandma's hasn't changed). Mom's in dinnertime hugs and stories past bedtime, she's in grocery store treats and quarters for the carousel. Mom is in every minute of my day.

For every story my sisters and I have about being forgotten at the library, locked out of the house, chased with a wooden spoon or sent on field trips lunchless, there are a hundred more about how our mom taught us how to show love, how to be women and mothers. We don't tell those stories because we live them. That's where Mom is, that's our sincerest gratitude.

The idea for this post was sparked by Mommy Shorts' Mom is in the Little Things. Thank you, Ilana.

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