Sunday, May 10, 2009
Obviously if you're a mom you know 'Mother's Day' comes for us every.single.day. With each battle of the wills we get to celebrate motherhood. When he practices his ninja skills in the house and nearly destroys everything breakable in his path, you declare unconditional love. Then, wander off to silently weep and cry out, "where did he come from!?"
It's no surprise that my son, who is currently camped out on the love seat playing a video game, has no idea that today is Mother's Day. I am not going to bother reminding him. He's 14 and he's sincerely a wonderful boy. I get a celebration every time he gives me an unsolicited hug or does a chore without being reminded. In addition, the kid can make me laugh when I least expect it. Formality needn't be the course of today.
One thing I absolutely wish for is more vivid memories of my own mother who passed away in 1981. I was 15, but my memories are more like snapshots. I remember incidences but many are surrounded with sadness over her illness or arguments with my dad. I wrote once that my grief process involved being angry at her for dying. In turn, my joyful memories were pushed into the recesses of my mind. My subconscious took control. What I'm saying is it wasn't intentional. I did not hate my mother, but I was so devastated and lost.
There is one thing that was distinctive about my mom: Her laughter. I focus on how funny she was when she'd start giggling. The more she tried to stop; the more she'd laugh. She'd wind down only to rev up again ... eventually tears would ensue and the entire room would be laughing with her, but at her laughter rather than whatever it was that made her giggle so uncontrollably.
I don't know if it's genetic or not, but I'm able to find the funny in the mundane. Perhaps in the 15 years I did get to spend with her she taught me to be observant. Having grown up with very little, I'm sure she learned to find joy even in the most minute circumstances.
If all she could pass down to me was her laughter and the ability to find happiness when others feel defeated, well, I'd say that's a bounty of inheritance.
Happy Mother's Day -- may you find the funny wherever you go