Thursday, June 24, 2010

One of Life's Necessities

Ari Goldman writes that one of the greatest necessities of life is a loving mother. My mom has been gone for over a decade, finally succumbing to an auto-immune disorder at the beginning of her 6th decade; way to young to die in my opinion. She was a woman that I admired and believed had an enormous amount of courage to overcame obstacles to succeed that few even contemplate.

While I'm not generally sentimental and am relieved that she is no longer physically suffering, I've missed her immensely at times in the past decade. Specifically when I was pregnant with my youngest 2 kids. Whatever my mom lacked as a mom, she more than made up for it as a grandma. She believed that each of her grandchildren were the brightest and the best. She adored them, challenged them, wrote to them regularly, made them books on tape, reading the books herself, sent them charming and delightful Christmas and birthday presents and flamed the fires of bibliphilia till they were blazing in each of her grandchildren.

And this year. This year I've missed having a Momma. My mil has been terrific, answering crisis calls from me as I stand at the paint store contemplating 32,000 different stains for our kitchen cabinets, being one of the first who knew about Sue and grieving with and for me, designing our kitchen and the list goes on. And I know I'm always welcome at her house and she adores the kids, but somehow it's different.

We went to a gathering at a friends' house this week and she was sharing her plans to have her grandkids over to camp on her screened in porch to watch fire-flies this summer and my throat ached with the longing to have Mom's house to go to. Just a place where Mom was. That was neat and tidy and full of flowers and iced flavored tea. Where I could sit on the screened porch in the evening, watching the stars and the fire-flies appear. Safe, cared for. Unintimidated, unalone.

I feel caught between the decades of my children. The 16 year age span between them all is my constant challenge. Having "kids" gone and adult and living their own choices and wanting to offer support in tangible ways while I am still responsible for a household of technical littles stretches me to the limit. And often my own wishes to create places, spaces, experiences for my kids goes undone. There is only so much time, money and energy to go around and the immediate things are usually the ones that are attended to. And my own wishes to be the loving mother that they all need falls so short way to often.

It's wistful, wishful, magical thinking to want my own Mom back to fill in some of my gaps and some of the gaping holes that this year have rendered. Just to have a place to go when things get too busy, or too harried, or too much. This year, more than ever before, I've wished that the magical thinking would work and I could have my Momma back.

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