….many things, actually, like how grandma made the most amazing pie crust I’ve ever tasted but mom’s been gone for almost seven years and grandma even longer. Sigh. Beyond the secret to the pie crust, I ache for many other things that I wish she had shown me. Since my mom was not very articulate, she probably still wouldn’t have much to say, but I find myself wondering about how she felt in the stage that I am in my life. So I’m left to ponder.
I wish she had shown me that….housecleaning’s a lot of work. Clearly, I’ve discovered that. For better or worse, I was raised in one of the cleanest houses I’ve ever encountered. In fact, it wasn’t until I went to someone else’s house in high school that I realized that not everyone was living like this. We never lost anything, were never late and never saw a mess. (I’m not exaggerating.) We opened drawers and clean clothes appeared. We opened cupboards and everything had space and was neatly arrayed. Martha Stewart would have been impressed. However, I honestly would have preferred to have a more realistic idea of how much she did to keep a peerless house.
I wish she had shown me that …. mom’s don’t have to be home all the time. All three of my kids are teenagers and I’m just getting around to the idea that it’s okay if they’re home and I’m not. It didn’t reach manic stage or anything, but if my kids were home, so was I. It was/is important to me. But it’s also important for them to see their mom prioritizing something other than their schedules. I have a life, for sure, but I want to spend as much time with them as possible, too.
I also wish she had shown me that ….hospitality should cast a wide net. Maybe she wasn’t confident in this area, but I rarely remember having anyone over. We’d have my aunts and uncles and occasionally one of us kids would bring a friend over for a bit, but that was it. I wish she could have known the joy of other people’s laughter, their ideas, their points of view. Slowly, I invite more and more people over and I realize that the girl missed out. So, I enjoy them on her behalf.
I wish she had shown me that ….it’s possible to return to joy after experiencing hurt or disappointment. She never mastered that, or frankly, came close. I needed to learn that one and would have been a happy witness. My arms are open wide to the one who can teach me this.
Usually, parents want for their kids what they themselves never had. Though my mom certainly had her share of goodness, she deserved more. I wish I was more mature when she was alive so I could tell her that. Next post: what I’m glad she showed me!