Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Not much has changed since I was in college. I still eat frozen pizza pretty regularly, and on trips back home, I take my laundry. Oddly enough it's more convenient to drive it three hours away than it is to do it in the basement of my apartment building. For one thing, I don't have to scrounge up quarters when I take it home and secondly, well... truth be (embarrassingly) told, my mom does it.

I know, I know. I don't ask her to do it. I don't even want her to do it. It's just that she can't stand to have this much laundry piled up in her presence and rather than wait for me to do it, she just dives in. She swears she finds comfort in this, doing her perfectly capable daughter's laundry.

My dad and I went to church with her on Sunday for Mother's Day. The sermon was about moms of course. I don't remember what he said because I was too busy thinking about how badly the pew was killing my back, but as she was singing along to Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art I was thinking about her and the millions of things for which I never thanked her.

I swear I hit the mom lottery. She has always been unfailingly supportive and practical, hopeful for the best but always steeled for the worst. A calm voice of reason in an often unstable world. My mom was not the mom to come unglued over minutia of any kind. It's just not her style. Life has real problems, and the difference was always clear to her. This is not to say, unfortunately, that she wouldn't wear me out over a detention or a speeding ticket.

As she sang I thought about all the times she must have paced around worrying about me when I missed curfew or didn't call home when I said I would. The nights she must have stayed awake praying for me when I was sick. The suffering she still endures from my brother's death.

You got to be tough to be a mom. No doubt about that. And yet she maintains a tremendous sense of humor and happiness.

So I went to church with her, took her to brunch, bought her wave petunias and gave her books, none of which hold a candle to the warmth and support she's given me.

You can never repay your own sweet mom. But I do thank her a lot more now. And when she says, "Gina, you must have 40 pairs of underwear!" I kindly don't tell her it's because I do laundry only once a month or so, because she didn't raise me like that, and I don't want to disappoint her.

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