Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Favorite Girl in the World

I know I often say that certain things give me life, but there is only one woman who can say that she ACTUALLY did it. Yaaaaaaaaas girl, YOU DID THAT.

Mother's day is upon us and once again, I find myself with agita about what to get my mother, the woman who quite literally gave me life. Every year, I find myself dumbfounded about what to get #Mommalily. This isn't 'cause I don't know her or what she likes.  For instance, I know that the Mommy Mixtape I thought about making for her containing every song I could find that references motherhood or mothers wouldn't be a good idea.  I also know how much she would HATE going to brunch tomorrow. Not because she hates brunch.  Much like me, she believes brunch is church. There are certain days that avid brunch devotees avoid like the plague. Mother's day is one such day. When I asked her about it, she said "Hell no, fck no I don't want to go to brunch on Mother's Day.  It is the BUSIEST brunch day of the year.  I am most certainly not trying to be in a restaurant with a bunch of old floral print biddies in their good salt and pepper church wigs as they oooh and ahh about being out for a change and slurp their mimosas.  'Girl! Do you see this corsage my baby got me?' No thank you. I would rather NOT go to brunch for Mother's Day. Thanks though."  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you MommaLily.

Once upon a time, she let it slip that she was fond of pigs and ducks.  My brothers, and anyone else who knows and loves her, then took it upon ourselves to aid her in creating the most extensive pig and duck collection ever invented.  Trust me when I say you don't want it with my mommy's rubber ducky and Babe gallery.

Later, she mentioned how much she adores deviled eggs.  My mother is now the proud owner of more than 12 deviled egg plates. What person needs 12 deviled egg plates? It's not her fault that we and others who adore #Mommalily shower her with presents.  She's just so damn amazing that people feel they need to lay offerings and baubles at her feet.  Okay, that may be over reaching a bit, but if you've been blessed to meet my mother or read any of her quotables that I tweet incessantly when I am around her, then you totally get what I'm saying. She's the kind of person you really want to like you and will do whatever you need to in order to ensure that.  For some people it's buy her a deviled egg plate. For others it's a gift set of pig handled spreaders.

Here's the thing, we don't wait for special occasions to cop something nice for my mother. We buy her stuff just 'cause it's Tuesday and she's on our minds. Part of it is a conscious thing, but a greater part is most likely our feeble attempts at repaying her for all of the wonderful things she has done for us over the years and gone unthanked for.  It's not 'cause we're thoughtless or inconsiderate, but rather 'cause a lot of what a mother does, she just does and the kids don't realize the import of these acts or gestures until much later in life. That's part of what being a mother means; you plant seeds in your babies and sometimes have to wait entire lifetimes to see them come to fruition.  Some folks have called motherhood a thankless job.  To me, it seems more like a really, really, REALLY slow interest earning CD; sometimes you have to wait FOREVER to see some return on your investment.

My mother had all three of us at home, not because weather didn't permit her getting to the hospital, but rather because she was adamant that her babies were going to be born somewhere that was in her words, "happy and pretty." She didn't want drugs or foreceps anything to interfere with her babies being born which is no small feat considering we ranged from just under 9lbs to almost 10lbs.  We were each born into rooms lush with flowers and people who loved us instead of overly clinical and hyper sterile environments that would keep the us apart.

My mother breast fed all of us for longer than was fashionable and even made our baby food for a while. When we transitioned to real food, nothing contained artificial flavors/colors or preservatives and I remember going with her to the health food store on Connecticut Avenue so she could make the fresh ground peanut butter. For much of our childhood, we were told prune juice was Coca Cola. "But you were regular," is her response when I identify this as examples of her cruelty.  I don't remember well enough to argue with her. My mother did these things not because she was anyone's hippie. Do you not see her hair in all of it's feathered glory in these pics? No, she did this stuff because she wanted to be sure that we, her three children had the absolute best foundation possible.

Back then, I used to hate the 30 minutes-1hour of television we were allowed a week. I dreaded the #Mommalily imposed summer reading book a week we had to accomplish. I use to wish upon wish that I could be allowed to go to the gut bucket GoGo clubs my friends were always avoiding scrapes in. Now looking back, I wouldn't want it any other way.

She nursed each of us when we were sick, boiling us in the tub to sweat out a cold, dressing wounds or rushing us to the ER when needed. She even slept in the oxygen tent with me when I had pneumonia at age 2-3.
She attended/attends every single game or performance no matter how small the role or how little playing time we got.
Exalts (and often frames) every accomplishment of ours no matter how small.
Uses her personal network to help further all of our endeavors, both entrprenural and creative.
Made costumes for every oral presentation we ever had to give in class.
Cussed us out when we didn't make curfew.
Created a "driving dummy" for me to keep in the car with me so that no one would try and car jack me for driving alone.
Celebrates when we're crazy in love and holds us close when/if our hearts are ever broken. (And in my case threatens to take a baseball bat to someone's knees if she ever sees him.)
Flew to Spelman freshman year to surprise me for my first birthday away from home.

Now that all three of us are well into adulthood, her role and our relationships have changed.  While she's definitely still our mommy, she's also become our friend, our advisor, our mentor, and for me a template of what a woman should be and how I should carry myself as a lady at all times, especially in the face of adversity. Shit isn't always sweet between us and there are far things less pleasant than when my twin and I aren't on good terms. When we fuss, it's like clash of the Titans.  What else would you expect from two first born alpha femmes when they don't agree? But, she is also the reason I know and understand what unconditional love truly is.  What she and my brothers and I have is so deep and inexplicable that even trying to come up with adjectives to describe it feels like it is cheapening it. To put it in the parlance of my present city of residence: we got mad love for each other, yo.

She is the reason I throw down in the kitchen.
She is why I am able to fearlessly speak in front of a crow regardless of how many people it contains.
She is why I practice and teach theater.
She is how I was brave enough to move away from everything I know and love and try my hand at life in the big city.
In HS when low cut bodysuits were de riguer, it was "Put those titties away, I don't wanna have to go and kill someone's son today." I don't think she would ever actually commit homicide, but even now, grown as I am, when I get dressed I add a safety pin to too low shirts just in case she can see me.

None of us are fool enough to think that giving my mother a duckie corkscrew nor that anything with a prictag will make up for all that she has done for us.  We know that there have been more than a few times growing up that we have been shits to her and hurt her in the way that only someone you truly love can hurt you.

This is the part of the post where I should be wrapping up and finding some cheesy way to wish her a Happy Mother's Day, but the thing is, for #Mommalily, EVERY day is Mother's Day. One of the three of us is usually on the phone with her, or emailing her, or texting her now that she actually got a smart phone instead of one that looks like the love child of a remote control and a cordless phone circa 1993. I just hope she knows how much she means to each of us and how much we love her, today and every day.


PS After receiving one more duck/pig item, #Mommalily crafted a list of things she'd love to receive for birthdays/holidays or whatever.  How can you not love someone who only wants to have you around.

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