Monday, May 11, 2009

Apple Falling Far From The (Much Better) Tree

Nan and the tots
This is my mother. There is one thing I have understood about my mother for nearly all my life: she and I are essentially different, made from completely different elements.

My mother is kind and patient; I am both hasty and bossy. She is quiet and measured as I talk far too much. Once (in summers before sunscreen, in warm grass on a sunny quilt with lotion and a book), her skin would turn nut-brown, while my own white skin would burn, turn pink, and then back to white.

My mother is braver, steadier, surer than I will ever be: she once rode wild ponies bareback, flew planes, bore a nearly ten-pound baby without epidural. (Please note: that was Croptop Dickie, not me. Can you believe the nerve on that guy?)

My mother is dependable and true, and I am frequently ridiculous. As a preteen, reading novel after novel about ridiculous mothers and their long-suffering daughters, I secretly pined for one of those creatures: a messy, wounded woman-child to care for, scream at, endure. My own mother made dinner every day at five, folded underwear, stroked foreheads. Honestly, how would I ever write a book?

My mother takes tender care of old, tired horses; I can scarcely make myself emotionally available to my cat.

My mother believes--has always believed--in me, consistently overestimating my talents, my stories, my everything. Once, after I applied a thick layer of orange foundation from the drugstore, she told me, "You don't need that; you're a natural beauty, just like Doris Day."

And that, I suppose, is where she and I converge: we are both well-meaning bullshitters. (Did you see how I ruined this with a swear? She would never do that.)

15 comments:

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Lovely; simply lovely.

amanda said...

I love this. Such a wonderful tribute to her, and the picture is adorable.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Awwww. What a beautiful tribute. I think the swear was the perfect seasoning for such a sweet post. Like kettlecorn.

a Tonggu Momma said...

What a tribute. And my momma and I are very opposite of one another... though I like to pretend I received some of her best, though hidden, qualities.

The Gossamer Woman said...

Treasure your Mom and don't be so hard on yourself. You've probably inherited some very fine qualities too. They are just different.

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

I loved this one, although I think your mom sees all the good that is evident in you, dear one.

JessTrev said...

Awwwww, the sweetness. From your badarse self (wherever does your tiny girl *get* that moxie??).

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Ha! The BS bomb just made it all the more endearing to me. ;-) Great tribute to a fabulous mother.

CSquaredPlus3 said...

The photo says so much. Wonderful post. I like your Mom's hair...

My Crazy Beautiful Life said...

What a sweet, hilarious description.

San Diego Writer Girl said...

Love your honesty. The women of our generation were carved from a different mold in a different time than our mothers. The world needs both -- the steel magnolias and the straight shooters. Your writing is gorgeous.

kimmomofeight said...

Absolutely perfect; bullshit and all.

justhay said...

Wow woman. I dunno if I covet your mom or your writing skills most.

Nora said...

Lovely, Melanie.

ophelia rising said...

Oh, what a lovely mother!

And, not so very far from the tree, I think. You are sweet and kind and genuine, too.