Tuesday, July 27, 2010

She Was That Mom

Inspired by Ronnie's "I Am That Mom/Dad" blog carnival. I am not that mom, yet, but my mom was.

She was THAT mom, whose kid went around looking "like Gravel Gertie" because she couldn't bear to force a brush through a screaming, crying tender-headed kid's hair.

She was that mom who gave up trying to spank her kid because the kid always ran away and it ended in a giggling game of tag every time.

She was that mom who "wasted" her food stamps on soda and ice cream sandwiches, or sometimes Gushers, or Great Bluedini Kool-Aid, or whatever new snack her kid wanted to try that week.

She was that mom who could barely pay the bills, yet bought her teenager an electric guitar and never once complained that said teenager never learned to play. She was that mom who bought her kid an acoustic guitar, too, even though she still hadn't learned the electric one.

She was that mom who let her kid stay home from school everytime the kid had anxiety or a 'tummyache' because she hated school, too, and she knew how rough it could be. She was that mom who called up the school and told them her daughter would not be coming back, when they denied her daughter a homebound teacher while she was sick with mono.

She was that mom whose kid was GOING to have a Nintendo 64 no matter how sold out they were, or how broke she was, because it meant the world to her kid. She was that mom who picked her kid up early from school to go get one, because her kid's happiness was more important than the last 30 minutes of fifth-grade English.

She was that mom whose house was always a wreck because there were Barbies all over the den, books all over the living room, dressup clothes all over the bedroom and Play-Doh all over the kitchen table. She was that mom whose bathroom wall was fingerpainted with palm trees and beach balls because she wanted the bathtub to be "Hawaii".

She was that mom whose only rule was "No running in the house while there's a record playing or a cake in the oven". That mom who let her daughter paint her room neon green, and then deep burgundy, and then bright orange, without worrying about the future saleability of the house. That mom who let her daughter wear black lipstick and dye her hair purple and chat on the internet until 4 AM.

She was that mom who began life as a racist homophobic anti-Semite, but never turned away her kid's black and Jewish and queer friends. She was that mom who loved them all, in the end. She was that mom who couldn't understand when her daughter's friend tried to explain why he liked to wear women's clothes, but smiled anyway and gave him some of her extra purses.

She was that mom who let her daughter's boyfriend move in and live in her house for a year, even though he never paid rent or helped around the house, because he had nowhere else to go.

She was that mom who gave up every religious and political conviction she'd held for her entire life on the day her daughter stood in the kitchen and told her she might be a lesbian. She was that mom who gave her daughter a big hug and said "And you could still get married and have kids, even! Just wait until your aunt dies first", and turned tears into laughter.

She was that mom whose final conscious act was to fight like hell to squeeze her daughter's hand, even when she could barely move her eyes, because she wasn't going to die without trying, one more time, to comfort her kid.

I love you, Mama.

23 comments:

Frank said...

Beautiful.

Ronnie said...

Crying now. Gorgeous tribute, gorgeous lady.

gail said...

That was lovely, Bonnie. Many hugs to you.

gail said...

That was lovely, Bonnie. Many hugs to you.

Zenmomma said...

She was THAT mom and I'll be she knew you were THAT daughter. What a beautiful tribute.

Flo said...

Lovely. A beautiful tribute to your mother.

Sarah said...

Oh, gawd, now I'm crying. That was lovely.

dharmamama said...

Beautiful post. I'm all teary!

Val said...

There's something in my eye. <3 <3 <3

Randi said...

WOW! What great memories for that daughter. May I be like THAT Mom!

George said...

Wow! Thanks for posting that.

Faith Void said...

yes, I totally cried, how could I not!

Heart Rockin Mama said...

Wow, Bonnie.
That was beautiful.
As a mom, I can honestly say I can only hope and dream that my kids will feel the same about me. Thanks for the inspiration.
Oh, and you made me cry, too :)

Idzie said...

By the time I finished reading this post, I was crying, too. Beautiful.

Ronald Prague said...

I managed to not cry until the end. Beautiful and inspiring.

Sylvia said...

Lovely, Bonnie - just amazingly beautiful. Wish I'd had that Mom.

marcia @Child in Harmony said...

Bonnie this was sooo beautiful..it brought me to tears. What wonderful memories you have of your mom and what a woman she was.

p.s. bohemian said...

so beautiful and you made me cry - your mom was indeed THAT mom!

i hope my children will known with the same certainty of Spirit how deeply i love them - thanks so much for sharing!

Happyface said...

I rarely have tears coming out from just one blog post, but dang it, this did it!

I've been trying to figure out how I would join this blog carnival, and you just inspired me. Thank you!

What a lovely mother you will be because you grew up with the best.

~Kimberly said...

Beautiful....

Garden Pheenix said...

I am bawling. Thanks for sharing this <3

Debbie said...

Beautiful and moving post Bonnie. I'm crying like everyone else who commented. You're a lucky girl to have had such a mother, and clearly she was a lucky mom too, to have had such a daughter.

angela said...

truly beautiful. best "i'm that mom" post i've read. appreciating the authenticity of this post through tears.
<3