You said I couldn't stay out past 10:00 in High School. All of my friends had no curfew. I hated you for that, but I was home safe, and not getting into trouble, and I thank you for that now.
I wasn't allowed in cars with boys. And even worse, you made every one come to the door, come in the house, and subjected them to a full interview. I swear I caught you sniffing one or two friends. I realize now what you were doing.
If I slept over a friends house, you actually called the Mom, and called to make sure I was still there! Mortifying! But I get it now.
You didn't let me stay at the Albatross Motel, in Montauk with my boyfriend prom weekend. I was the only one not allowed! I would laugh in one of my girls faces if they ever asked to do the same, now.
You forced me to do what I was good at. You nurtured my love of art, and any and all things creative. You even insist I apply for a scholarship, and I went through the motions to shut you up, and when they announced my name, I was stunned, but you looked like you already knew I was getting it.
You hated my boyfriend. And I thought you were just cruel for that. But I was suffering all that time, and you knew there was something better for me out there. You knew I deserved more. And you were right.
You have changed my diapers, sewed me my first communion dress. Tied my shoe laces, braided my hair, adjusted my cap and gown, and buttoned my wedding dress. You saw my babies when they were fresh and new, and held my hand as I was losing one. You knew me before I knew me. You have relished in my accomplishments, been really hard on me, my worst critic, and my biggest fan. Some days, I wish I knew you better. Some days, I know you so well.
I watch you now, weaker, and older. I don't like how tired your eyes look, and how one arm trembles. You don't want to talk about that, but I want you to be OK. Because I know there is so much more good stuff, and bad stuff too, that I need you here for.
I have a memory of you. Sitting out on our front lawn. Your blond hair in a Jackie O flip. Big, round, dark brown sunglasses on. A coat, with gold round buttons. You have a berry color lipstick on. You smell like your perfume, Je Reviens. I needed a tissue, and you had one in your pocket. The tissue smells like you. Your hair is blowing, and you toss your head back, and laugh.
It is burned into my memory.
I love you Mom. Happy Mothers Day. I get it now.