Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Guest Post: Lora from Fever

I was sitting with a friend yesterday, talking about our mothers. Her mother is getting older, and having some health problems. She's been hospitalized, and she has an oxygen tank, and I'm pretty sure she has a nurse coming in to make sure everything is okay plus one of her bazillion children is on call for her Monday through Saturday and Sunday they all sit together and pretend like everything is normal. Like they all decided to have a family dinner just like they used to. In 1968.

My friend said something like, "my mom is old. She's not the age I thought she was. I sat beside her and looked down on her bed the other day (the one the insurance company had bussed into the house, one that folds up and has sides that turn it into a crib for grownups, one that has a headboard that has outlets and IV hooks and who the hell knows what those other things are) and realized that I stopped seeing her for who she is about 30 years ago. I thought my mom was forever forty, but I'm older than that now. Which makes her old. Just old. She doesn't look like I thought she looked. Her face is different. Her clothes are different. Her body is different. Her house is mostly the same, but this isn't her bed, it's not even in her room because we don't want her upstairs. My mother sleeps in the dining room. She isn't beautiful. She's dying."

Not my mom, I thought. My mom is really young and always the prettiest mom around and she's thinner than I am but a little bit shorter and she's always really tan and her hair is dark like my son's and her eyes are more green than mine, but still hazel.

But she's not. She's not really young anymore and she's not thinner than I am anymore and she's even more shorter than I am and I don't think she's so much tan these days because the spots and lines and creases have set in and she started lightening her hair twenty years ago (in an effort to hide the grey I'd imagine) and her eyes are more green than mine, but still hazel.
Is she still the prettiest mom around? To me. I'm not sure what everyone else would think. I'm not ready to look at her with my thirty (almost) four year old eyes.

I wonder what sort of picture my son will carry of me. Right now I'm the most beautiful girl in the world. I'm just a kid too, he says, because I like to play and I don't have "cracks" on my face and my hair is still "gold and not silver". I sing like an angel and I "know almost everything except for the stuff that I don't" and I'm the best cook in the world and when he says I have a "big ol' butt, oh yeah" he really means that I have a "little young butt, oh yeah" but that isn't how the song goes so it's not like he can just say that. Oh yeah. I'm "the best best best best bestest princess in the world (not a queen because queens are mean) and he's so lucky that he gets to be my prince and everyone and all the animals love me most because my heart is full of love and when I exhale, invisible rainbows come out of my mouth and all the bad stuff in the whole wide world fills up my lungs when I breathe in and my body changes it into rainbows and that why rainbows come out when I breathe."

You're welcome for that. The whole making all the bad into rainbows. It's a tough job, but I'm up for it.

Did I mention my son is four?

Four year olds are great for your self esteem.

Fourteen year olds? Twenty-four year olds? Thirty-four? Well, I hope he comes around by the time he's 34.

I'll be close to retirement. Not beautiful to most.

Will he remember me as a dedicated career-woman who was able to make time for my work and my family each day? Or someone who was so tired by 6pm that she didn't give him what he needed.

As a confident person who was comfortable in her own skin? Or a weirdo who didn't wear enough clothes around the house.

A great cook? Or someone who only fixed what she wanted and that was easy and forced him to try icky stuff because it was on sale at the ShopRite that week.

I want him to think of me as a fun, active, singing, drawing, cleaning, funny, writing, baking, involved, playing, cooking, caring, available, working, educated, loving, solid, bending, outreaching, dedicated person. Beautiful would be okay to throw in there too.

I want him to hold tight to the good parts of me- let them shape who he becomes, and be able to look past and forgive the not so good, the way I do of my mother- especially now that I am a mother too.

Or get himself a damned good therapist and keep going until he does.

** If you have not yet met Lora before today, I strongly recommend you head on over to Fever immediately. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200 (but be sure to share with her [heck, and me!] if you do). Just go. Now. She's someone I swear I've known all my life, although we've not yet met. Odd, no? Go anyway. Now that I've freaked you out a bit you'll be even more prepared to meet her. Thanks, peeps! **


  1. Love to you lady! It does seem like we've known each other forever, doesn't it? It's almost creepy. Almost.

    I hope you are doing well and having fun!

  2. This was a powerful post. I relate to it as a mother and as a daughter.

    I see my mother declining a little more every time I see her. But my father's changes are smaller, and I hope he gets to live forever.

    My daughter is my biggest cheerleader. I'll miss her when she's a teenager, and realizes I have all of these flaws. When my son complains, I say, "Remember to tell this to your therapist someday."

  3. I distanced myself from my mother for a long time, from 14 until about 20 (hey, it's was a long time for me, I'm only 21). We've since reconciled since we both came to terms with her alcoholism but, by recognizing who she is now, I am also finally able to appreciate who she was when I decided to pull away. I guess I'm idolizing and missing the woman in my life that used to breathe rainbows.

  4. i often wonder how my son sees me. He is blind. he had vision off and on, more or less until he was 8. It's been years since he has seen a human face, we don't even know what a face looked like to him when he could see. I wonder does he picture me lovely? do i look like a mom?
    it's selfish and silly but it breaks my heart that he can't see me.

  5. Ugh Lora you've got me crying over here. This is such a wonderful post and I felt it completely. When my mother passed it was difficult to see her as she was, she was still the blonde, tan, hot mom she always was and who all my friends would tell me over and over and over again "Kelly your mom is hot". She was still hot to me, but it was painful.

    I know your son will be proud of you and yes, still think you're pretty no matter what!

    Excellent first guest post girl and thank you for coming over here so I could find this new blog! ox


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