May 11, 2015

Mother's Day..........

I had a special present for Mother's Day this year, when The Beautiful Redhead called and said she was coming Friday night and spending the entire weekend.

She asked me what I wanted for a present when she got here, as she is the designated "present buyer" for such occasions.  This is what being an only daughter often means in a family of boys.  I made it clear that the only present I wanted or needed, I already had.  Time spent with grown children is the rarest of gifts, and I had already hit the mother lode.

The Beautiful Redhead has grown up. My little girl has grown into a smart, capable, gorgeous woman.  She comes from a long line of these.

Pictured here are Clara Hamilton, Forrest's 2nd wife and step mother (although she was never considered anything but "mother", Helen Hamilton Hooker (my  mother's mother), and Geri Hamilton, first wife of Dobby (Wayne).

This has always been one of my favorite pictures of Big Grandma.  It was taken in the basement of the Methodist Church in Browning, Mo., I believe after my mother's wedding in 1960.  See the suds on Clara's hands?  These fine ladies were cleaning up after and someone grabbed a camera and instead of making duck faces or sticking out their tongues, they grabbed a broom and posed.  They knew that life involved a lot of hard work but that was no reason they could not still have fun together.  In fact, that is how memories are made.

It will always break my heart that these wonderful women did not get to know her.  It seems so wrong and unfair.  I also know, though, that what is born in the blood will come out in the bone, and that they are within her.  When she wonders where her strength comes from, this is part of the answer, and they will never let her down.  When things go wrong and she feels like crying, but laughs instead and redoubles her efforts, and that is just as it should be.    

My second Christmas, at Big Grandma's house.  Mom was expecting my brother, Superman, in May of the next year.  

I am at the age where I can see all our paths through life and what was discarded and kept along the way.  I realized that The Beautiful Redhead has already made many wise decisions sorting through her life and wondered which memories would always be with her.  I also realized that whatever path she takes from now on, she is capable of handling it.  It came as a bittersweet realization. 

Do you ever look at your children and wonder how many things they will never remember that you will never forget?  I spend what seems like a lot of time doing just that.  I think that they might not remember with their minds, but they will always remember with thier souls, whether they ever put it together in their minds or not. Children grow up and all those tedious mothering moments have a huge payoff.  The only trick is, you won't get to see the results for 20 to 25 years.  The first part of those years seems to take forever, but the last part seems to happen very fast.  It's a phenomena that really has to be experienced before it can truly be believed, but I highly recommend it.

Mom and I at my first wedding.  She was 42, I was 18.  

I continued wondering about the grandchildren she will give me.  I did not bring it up, though.  We are just past the stage where she confidently states that she is never having kids, and I don't want to push it.  heh heh.   I am sure they will be outstanding little people, at any rate, should any of them decide to show up.  ;)

Mostly, though, I just basked in the fact that she was in my house.  Superman and Wonder Woman came over Saturday night and I so enjoyed watching she and her uncle sample different kinds of beers, getting more jolly by the hour.  It hit me that she was a grown up woman several times and all I could do was just accept this fact.  I don't know why it keeps surprising me, but it does.

She and the twins went to church with me on Mother's Day, and I told her how much it meant to me to have an hour each week where I can sit with my arm casually around the boys and just be with them.  I know they will leave home soon and I am happy for them but..........well, it is just another step that will take them (possibly) farther away from me, physically.  But in their hearts?  They will never be far away, this is my greatest hope, and all the moments that lead up to that time will be cherished.  By me.  Understand that they are still rolling their eyes and telling me to calm down, but this will pass as soon as they are out their on their own.  This is not my first rodeo in this area and I will be there when they call, or better yet, come back home.

We observed together how much they have grown up and I saw her weighing and measuring their progress like any good older sister and my heart was full to overflowing.  She learned it from me, but it was handed down through generations and each of us are just links in a great chain that flows unbroken through time.  This is a great comfort to me.  Also, she wore The Locket, which always makes me so happy, and I wore my mother's wedding ring, which I never go anywhere without.  The only sad moment came when the only good picture I have taken in years did not get saved on her phone.  I think I will just hire someone to take actual pictures of all of us.  I am not happy with this new digital picture phase we are going through.  Too undependable.  I'm gonna take it back to old school, for old school never lets me down.

Included in our weekend shenanigans were finding two grass snakes taking cover in the corner flashing of the house ("you just STOOD THERE, mom!")  which I guess I will have to hunt down and relocate, an introduction to the best neighbors on earth, who have raised a baby squirrel to teenage years but whom did not decide to make an appearance, a trip to Wal Mart on a Friday night which was......interesting to say the least, and visits with other extended family that she does not get to see very often but loves very much.  That's all I can tell you.  If you want to know more about  our shenanigans, you have to show up for them, and then you will have to keep the secret too.  :D

We both missed our Charli-girl, and spent a lot of time looking through pictures and videos.  This was The Rockette's first Mother's Day and The Rock Star had planned her a relaxing day at home without having to go anywhere.  Personally, I highly approved of this gift, as that has always been one of my favorite things on earth. I think it worked, because The Rockette sounded very relaxed and happy when we spoke on the phone.

At a basketball game, already cheering.  The big question is whether she will be a Mizzou or KU fan.  This is new for our family, but we are trying our best to be open minded.  It's a sports thing........and a KC

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend.  Everything I could have hoped for.  If you are a person who agonizes over what flowers to send your mom, and if you were to ask for my advice, just go home instead.  Spend some time with the people who raised you.  You can find wildflowers all along the roads, just pick some of those if you must. Your mom values your presence above any other gift.

Oh, and the Creme Brulee French Toast?  It's a keeper!  We served it with raspberries and it was perfect.  I declared it our new breakfast whenever we are able to be together from here on out, and The Beautiful Redhead discovered the challenges of foodie photography.

You want to try this.  Trust me.