I am so grateful for my mother. I remember when I had my first child the revelation of how much my mom did for me hit me really hard in the face. How ignorant was I to think life was so awesome with me. Jeepers! I remember the first week of baby one and the changing of 10 diapers in less than five hours. The inability to nurse and the screaming gut wrenching wails from the babe’s mouth rang through my ears like a train whistle blaring through with endless exhaustion. Oh and that exhaustion, come on now, one cannot even complain about exhaustion until they themselves have had the privilege of a new born bursting through the realms of what was once a place of Zen Tazo Tea, in other words a quiet and calm, or a safe house from the mad realms of the outside world. My back hurting having to change once again another poopy diaper, my hands chapped from washing for the zillionth time, and my clothes, ugh, don’t even get me started at the countless barf marks, stains and spit ups, that once disgusted me, could no longer even phase me. My hair, a mess and my eyes shrunken and haggard, and my skin, did I even wash my face anymore? Oh first born, what you put me through. But then something happens. This insanity becomes the new normalcy. Boogers in your nose, boogers in my nose, boogers in every ones nose! Perfection which once was bliss is replaced by a whole new set of word descriptions like parenthood, motherhood, perhaps even misunderstood. However, my mom was a superstar mom in my eyes. My early memories with her were those of riding horses, playing on the beach, and running in the backyard with our wolf-dog. I am extremely grateful for her patience and kindness. She never ridiculed me for not wanting to pin the tail on a donkey at another birthday party I didn’t want to go to, or ring around the rosy. She didn’t push me or force me to smile at the camera, but to remain as natural as I was which was typically in a state of chronic hysteria. Thanks Mom! I love you!
Yesterday and today I have been in my head of constant memories. I guess it is because of the weather and the spring is resembling more of summer and it seems my brain was somehow able to consume and store more summer memories than spring ones or fall. 182. That was an important number for me and my childhood friends. It was ingrained into our very existence, it was our world and our safety. Our adventures and our growth. It embraced me as well as nurtured me into a being of calm, hyper, happy and sad. Memories. The memory of hearing of death and cancer for the first time when my close friend lost her grandmother at a shocking young age, and seeing her 20 something year old mom crying to my mother in her kitchen. It was hard to understand at 7 or 8 what was happening and to not understand death only brought more confusion and questions. I remember the urgency of putting on my shoes, but never fast enough with the emotions that came with playing outside with my childhood friends, Jen and Chris. It was pure adrenaline. Then to run up the hill a mere 2 houses away which felt like years to get there. It was exciting. It was fun. The lemonade stands, with the occasional popcorn stand, the dressing in clown costumes and doing cartwheels as the cars drove by, screaming with determination, pleading with strangers to pull over and buy the bestest beverage in the world. The countless nights of scrubbing pitch and sap off our hands and feet. The innumerable amounts of band-aids our moms would go through for skinned knees and elbows, or the painful sprained ankles from falling out of trees, falling off bikes, falling off homemade ramps, or falling off the blow up water bed mattresses their dad randomly would bring home from job sites. The neighborhood parties, barbecues, and pizza nights, slip and slides, water fights, and filling burning barrels with water and remembering myself panicking I could get blood poisoning with all the rust in them. The summer never seemed to end, and probably could have continued for years more if not for transfers, divorce, death, construction, destruction, development and change. The memories are my reminders of the delicacies of the neighborhood, the childhood, and now the parenthood in which I see a repeat in nature as well as with nurture. I understand as I watch my own kids screaming as they scramble to find their own shoes and race outside into the heated sunlight, a canvas waiting, to birth new memories in this new place in time. I feel it, too. The urgency to live. The urgency to play. The urgency to be.