Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Two Mothers in One House
There isn't another mother on the face of all the earth that I would be okay with living with me. Luckily she's my mother, maybe that's why. But, I think, more than anything, she's easy to live with!
She watches the quarrels and tensions between my children longingly. Yes, she wishes she had had that as a child. As the second of six all in a row, I grew up fighting for my right to the last chip in the bag. Everything seemed to be contention or contest. We were all so close. There are only 14 months between my older sister and I. I can't imagine craving that. But she does. She feels she missed out on vital lessons.
Her mother's first husband died of luekemia leaving her with two children to raise. She married my grandfather who brought four older children to the mix. Then, they had my mom. She was a bonus child if there ever was one! Coddled and babied by the older ones, she never felt the natural friction of familial brothers and sisters.
I've learned things having my parents live with me and witness the raw side of my own mothering and wifery.... but most of those things are fodder for another post, another day. One thing, though, perhaps the thing that surprised me the most, was that I can disagree with them without the world crashing to an end and all I know and love dissolving into oblivion. And, I disagree with my mom.
My mother is the peacemaker. The gentle voice with which she summons my children two and fro is one I often can't manage to muster myself. Ever willing to help. The pacifist in a guerilla game of Scum. The silent, behind-the-scenes PR person for keeping lines between her own children clear and open. She's a magical mother.
It is too late to wish that my children could grow up like she did, because certainly it contributed to her Olive-Branch-and-Dove ways. But, they have the uncanny opportunity to grow up (at least for a spell) partly under her wing while she is under our roof. I love that. Hopefully a bit will rub off before she flies away.
Today is her birthday. Love you, Mom.