Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mea Culpa, Mom

My mom has always told me, "Kids take their moms for granted."

She's never stated this in a discouraged or disappointed way; it's more matter-of-fact, as in: "this is how it is and not only am I OK with it, I'll also never complain about it." And she never does.

Because that's the type of person she is.

My sister and I can emotionally throw-up all over her and my mom will be there, holding the space and offering empathy. We can toss just about anything at her - and we have.

Because that's the type of person she is.

My mom can babysit for hours on end and never once turn on the television or resort to the Nintendo player. Instead, she'll bust out every crafty thing imaginable and have Ben collecting leaves and rocks. She's better at getting Ben to do homework than I am and she's quick to volunteer to drive across town to retrieve him from school so that I can have a little downtime at home.

Because that's the type of person she is.

Our dog is forever bonded to my mom because she is the one who walks her every day. She also dog sits when I'm gone overnight and I so don't deserve this but she also treats the dog's ears and picks up the dog poop.

Really. Because that's the type of person she is.

On Friday mornings, I usually hear the garbage trucks rumble by and sit straight up in bed, panicked. Then, I remember that I have no reason to panic because my mom always drags the cans to the curb on Thursday nights.

Yes, she does. She really does.

When I optimistically plant a garden in the Spring months, my mom is the one who waters the whole project all summer. I also catch her vacuuming on occasion and she has a real penchant for Cloroxing my sinks. And if you ever have a moth problem in your kitchen, my mom's your girl. She knocked out a whole colony for me. Twice. It was pretty remarkable.

Because that's the type of person she is.

I get headaches. A lot. My mom brings over medicine, she cares for Ben, she makes food. Last month, when I missed the school holiday performance, my mom took the treats I had made to the classroom and stayed for the show - in my place.

Because that's the type of person she is.

A busy month like December means that there is constant movement and quite a bit of chaos in the background. Ben needed to be watched when I rushed off to my birthday dinner. He wanted constant entertainment on cold weekend days when I had stacks of cards to address and piles of gifts to wrap. The Christmas tree would still be standing in my front window had my mom not stepped in, with Ben's assistance, and dismantled the whole thing while I closed the books on my business for the year.

Because that's the type of person she is.

I should have done a little shout-out to my mom in the previous post because most of December would not have been possible without her. Right up until the last day of the year, when she came over to help with Ben before she volunteered at a homeless dinner, her presence gave me just a few short hours to begin the conversion of a new invoicing system.

In the midst of my divorce, I never would have imagined the crushing responsibilities associated with maintaining an older home, running a small, service-oriented business, carting a child to and from an out-of-the-way school and still carving out time for everyone to have a good meal, clean clothes and a little fun once in a while. The daily tasks are still daunting and only do-able with the extra set of hands that belong to my mother. She is, indeed, the backbone of this whole operation.

So, I'll say it now and I'll keep it simple:

You rock, Mom. You really do. I couldn't do all that I do without you. It just wouldn't work. I may always take you for granted, a little, but I'll always appreciate you - more than you'll ever know.

Thank you for being the village that we desperately need. You do it so very well.


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