How I Strive to Be the Mother My Kids Do NOT Remember!
Posted Mar 11 2009 3:59pm
I remember when this was taken. The year was 1971. I was my youngest daughter's age -- although, I look a lot...you know...bigger -- it was the day that the Woodbridge Center Mall first opened its doors and, ironically, Abraham & Strauss, Orbach's and Sterns are now all out of business.
My parents have tons of pictures like this. This one's in pretty bad shape, but I promised to go through and save as many of their photos, digitally, whenever I could (I mean, they've got boxes and boxes of 'em) but, it's become very difficult. Harder than they could ever imagine and it's not because my parents don't have a computer, either.
I just realized, for the first time, how much I really do look like my mother and it's killing me.
Yeah, it was a long time ago -- a lot of the photos are old, colorless and somewhat faded, by now -- but, the memories, curiously enough, are still very vivid. They rush through my fingers and fill my heart with a crescendo of uncertainty and all of my insecurities, at that very moment, were undoubtedly written all over my poor mother's face.
I didn't get it, at first.
"Why isn't Mama smiling?"
My 13-year-old has this way of sneaking up behind me and nearly gave me a heart attack, again.
"What are you talking about?"
Looking back on the moment I realize now that my tone may have sounded a bit harsh -- okay, so I was more than a little annoyed with the interruption, or maybe it's because I was caught off guard...again -- no worries, my middle girl already knows her mother is quick, like that.
I mean, she's smiling in this one.
Aaaand, this one.
Then, it hit me -- like most things do -- like, a brick upside the head.
"It's you...being with you guys makes your grandmother smile."
Although, I tell them (all the time) that she is NOT the same woman I grew up with -- don't worry, my mother laughs when I say that, too -- I'm thankful that it is the face my children will always remember.
"It's really nice that you're saving ALL these pictures, though."
Only now, I find myself turning them over and over again.