Sunday, May 13, 2012

Little Things

Well, here it is. My first Mother's Day without my mother. It's exactly as awful as you'd think.

I am taking my mind off of it by going to see Les Miserables with Jason and the kid. And by "take my mind off of it", I mean "make me sob uncontrollably for 2 1/2 hours with its tale of love and sacrifice." It will be the kid's first time seeing it, so I will do my best to hold it together. Seeing Fantine die on stage makes me lose my mind on a good day, and this is not by any stretch a good day. But the tickets were bought long ago, before it all went to hell around here. we go.

I've been told to remember the good things today. The small things. To savor the tiniest of memories. So I am. The little things are what I miss the most.

I miss her cute shoes. Every compliment-grabbing pair of shoes I've worn in the past decade have been shoes she bought. I don't believe for one minute that she bought any of these for herself and that they didn't fit, as she claimed. We were not even close to being the same size. But she knew I felt bad when she spent money on me. I always accepted the girly flip-flops with heels, and Uggs, and strappy sandals, and high-heeled knee-high sexy boots. I trusted her judgement on these things, for left to my own devices, I purchase really ugly shoes with orthotic inserts and good arch support .

I miss how she ordered both Coke and coffee with breakfast and then wondered why First Watch always gave her heartburn.

I miss how she fixed Ainsley's hair in some neat and elegant up-do every time she was with her for more than an hour. I dropped off Cousin It but picked up Cinderella.

I miss having someone who would call on a random summer afternoon and say, "Bring Ainsley over here to spend the night and you and Jason go do something." We could sit outside at a nice restaurant on a beautiful July Thursday evening and not worry; our child was having at least as good of a time as we were.

I miss that she cooked sauerkraut for me when I craved it, since the smell alone causes a violent adverse reaction in my house.

I miss her cussing. Her accent made even "shit" and "hell" sound socially acceptable and genteel.

I miss the short, sincere notes she wrote on the inside of special occasion cards to go beyond the message of the card and tell us how much she loved us.

I miss that she bragged on my humble cooking.
I miss the unexpected kindnesses. The time we got back from vacation to see she had brought her seamstress friend to our house to finally fix the rip in our couch. Her habit of dropping by little gifts of clothes or costume jewelry and leaving them in a pretty bag on the front porch. How she never went away on a vacation without finding me a collectible shot glass.

Today we will all be remembering and honoring our mothers, whether we're still with them or not. Our mothers take care of so many of the big moments of our lives--they hold us, literally and figuratively, during our biggest milestones. The big moments make it into the Hallmark cards. So write your own note in that card today. Remember the little things.

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