I had a tremendously wonderful childhood, a huge contributor of this was my mom. She was an adventure seeker, we’d pack some French bread, cheese, and pepperoni, and hit the road for the day. The destination may have been planned to an extent, but the way home would often be a wandering one. Mom would say, “Well, I’m out of cigarettes, we have no money, and we’re low on gas. It must be time to go on an adventure.” We would all settle in, my mom would sort through the ashtray for half smoked cigarettes, while we sucked down our juice box. It created a sense of danger and excitement for us. We were explorers with the odds stacked against us.
We would get lost on purpose. It was always so much fun to hear my mom think aloud about how to meander back home. A direct access to her brain and train of thought. Her ideas battling each other with hilarity and frustration. Someone would cut us off on the road and my mom would yell, “You turkey!” Everyone evil in the world was a labeled a turkey and she called me and my two younger sisters her little kumquats.
My mom stayed home with us, so we were blessed with twice the adventures that other kids had. She gave us free roam of the neighborhood and the horse farm down the street. Sometimes our adventures would be boring, like going to the grocery store. Which at times ended up with me leading my sister astray, getting us hopelessly lost, and detached from my mom. We would wander up and down the isles trying not to cry, while we searched for her. The relief we felt when she was located washed over us and we swore we would never do that again – until next time.
I remember the exact words my mom would say sometimes. Once, leaving the grocery store a grumpy old man was speaking badly to his wife. He slammed his car door and I jumped, clinging to my mom’s arm for comfort. I asked her, “Mom, why are people like that?”
She simply looked at me and without missing a step said, “The world takes all kinds.”
I was probably 5 years old, my youngest sister not born yet. A deep notion was just tossed at me by a very intelligent woman. I understood what she meant, it went to the core of me. Life is not always fair, there are good people and bad people. The world accepts them all.
Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who has ever been in a role to love or nurture another. Today I’m going to contribute my post to my mama. It’s clear we don’t always see eye to eye and our spirits are both wild in ways that are similar and foreign to each other. She is my tree and I am certainly her apple. This must be why we have a unique relationship that I cherish.
Love you MOM! And your crazy green thumb that always turned our Maryland backyard into a lush paradise.