i save things in my underwear drawer. baby teeth. old wedding rings. photographs. a box of money. love notes.
i feel like calling my mom and asking her in which drawer she keeps my letters. i have been writing her love letters for a long time now. notes of adoration. little girl whisperings. reminders of my devotion. my words are penned with deep gratitude. and this blog post is another one. a public declaration of my love.
mom. i love you. and i want to tell you and everyone else some of the reasons why.
my mother has offered me the gift of great generosity. she has loved with the most unconditional love i have ever experienced. she has allowed me to be me. and this includes my pushing at the boundaries of acceptable social behaviour. she didn’t always like it. but she received me regardless. loved me without a “real” job (working on a novel where i transformed her mother into a lesbian). loved me with uncombed hair and unruly underarms. she loved me while i tried to be ugly. she loved me when i was angry and disillusioned with the world. loved me with a septum piercing (for 16 years in a row!). she loves me stinky, even if she much prefers the smell of soap.
she says i’m easy to love.
as i grew she would flash me her beautiful breasts and giggle. she walked around the house naked. she answered all my questions about sex. told me about masturbation. my brother and i could find her in the shower, in the bath, on the toilet: it didn’t faze her. and she thinks she was a” square”!
my mom let me follow her (without complaining) around the house describing the minute details of my day. we would sit in the car in the driveway and talk for an hour before taking the groceries inside. she heard me. she saw me. as many times as i needed her too. she was there to see. she still is. just a drive or a phone call away. just last month she listened patiently and with great humour to my wild excited stories about my new sweet love.
she shares some of her secrets with me. sometimes when i was younger they were hard to hold. she is an incredible story teller. she shares her longings. and my heart breaks for her. she exposes her vulnerability, her insecurities and her pain. she sees the beauty in me, but not always in herself.
she experiences headaches too often. sometimes everyday. i have always wanted to take her pain away. i haven’t figured out how yet. and nor has she. yet she continues. she inspires me. my mother is very tidy. perhaps the inability to control the pain leads her to playing with certainty in her outer environment. but even with the pain. she gets out of bed. she smiles. she is friendly with strangers. she is open and down to earth.
my mother loves crunchy toast and overdone cookies. i love to listen to the sound of her ring against a mug of tea.
my mother brought me here. she made me from scratch. she slipped the most beautiful gifts into my hands. gentleness. sharing. taking care. whispered sweet secrets into my skin. you are perfect exactly as you are. your smile lights up the world. i watched her learn to take care of herself. i watch her still. i see us together at the grocery store. the cart full of fruit and vegetables. no pop! she brought me to yoga classes when i was thirteen. helped me become vegetarian when i was twelve. swam naked with me. laughed when i soaped my bum and whipped down the slide totally bare.
her heart breaks for me. she holds my pain close. all my loss. (or what seems like loss) all my struggles. all my challenges. she wishes to protect me in the same way that i wish to protect her, and in the same way i wish to shelter my children. i want us all to be free.
my mother isn’t perfect. i spent some time in my early 20’s blaming her for my troubles. i have tried to pin her with responsibility for my perfectionism. for my need to be good. for my inability to pick a good partner. but none of that is really her fault. and i’m glad my mother isn’t perfect. it is a great relief that she is wonderfully human. and i take full responsibility for my life and my heart. we have all learned from the generations before us. and we have the ability to transform the shit into beautiful flowers.
i thank the universe for the support that my mother gives me. i pray that i can open my heart like she does. that i can love and listen. that, like her, i can be in pain and still move in the world with gentleness and grace.