Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

I hope all you moms out there had a very happy mother's day and that the wreckage from breakfast-making was cleared up before you had to see it.

I have many moms in my life these days. My cousins, my sister, my friends - all moms. My own mom died when I was seven years old. I don't remember her very well. Little snippets of time, images and ideas mostly. When you're little your parents aren't people, they're parents, kind of two-dimensional, like characters in a dime store novel. When you get older you get to know them better, see them as real people. I've always been a little sad that I didn't get to know my mom that way and to see some of myself in her. My sister says that our mom valued harmony between people. I got that from her. I think I would have liked her a lot.

After my mom died my sister and I went to live with my father's first cousin and her husband. (I usually call them my aunt and uncle because first cousin once removed is too much of a mouthful and usually requires a chart for people to understand.) We lucked out. They took us in as if that's what they'd been wanting their whole life even though they were about to get all of their own kids out of the house. One minute your youngest is going to college and the next you've got this eight year old leaving her toys around the house. But we never felt less than welcome and sometimes I think they would forget we weren't their own kids.

On mother's day I call my aunt. Though I have never thought of her as my mother she did the job and I will be forever grateful.

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