Happy Day

I’ve had two recent memories of my mom that just make me laugh. Seems appropriate to share them on Mother’s Day.

1. Without fail, I always received an almost-finished gift from my mom on birthdays and Christmas. A comforter cover that just needed the velcro closure stitched on, a dress that needed a final hem, etc.

I was reminded of this yesterday when I ventured into our attic to look at my old dollhouse. I want to bring it down and clean it up for Chicken’s upcoming birthday.

The story is that my grandfather assembled these dollhouses- one for me, one for my sister. Hers had a front porch on it, mine had a shingle roof. They both came with little wood furniture- doors that open and close, a toilet with a seat that flips open. We had little families with bendy arms and legs that you could sit around the little tables or on the couches. Both were pretty awesome, and I played with mine constantly.

When I got my dollhouse, probably 30 years ago, the shingles took up half of the roof. My mom said she just needed to finish glueing the rest on. There was always a grocery bag of loose dollhouse shingles accompanying my dollhouse, usually sitting on my closet shelf.

That same bag (and the half-finished roof) are in my attic today. One of my mom’s trademarks: the almost-finished gift.

2. My mom loved a good one-liner. Sometime in my high school years she came upon “Get a Life”. She liked to deliver this with a smile and an eye roll. The problem was that she tended to use this phrase just slightly…off. (See Bart Simpson for its’ proper usage).

I remember tubing with my family one day. My sister-in-law was with us, which must have meant I was in college by then. We talked about having kids and the idea of having them naturally or with drugs. I can’t remember if anyone (my sister? my sister-in-law?) was pregnant at the time, or if it just came up anyway. Whatever the case, my sister-in-law sort of cringed at the imagined pain of natural childbirth and asked my mom what she had done with her four labors.

My mom had, apparently, had all of us naturally. She gave her/us who were listening a big eye roll and said “Oh get a life”. Translated: you all are pansies for being afraid of drug-free childbirth.

Reflections: 1. That’s not how you use that phrase. And, also 2. Mom, you were wrong about drug-free childbirth. It is, indeed, worth being afraid of.

She had her half-finished gifts and her misused phrases, and she could always laugh at herself. She was quick to forgive. She wasn’t perfect and never aspired to be. I wonder what sort of quirks my kids will identify in me. “She made us drink green smoothies, as if that was normal!” or “She was always getting rid of our toys if we didn’t play with them constantly!”.

Who knows.

Happy Mother’s Day!

With her eldest grandchild. I don’t know if he came into the world naturally or with an epidural. Oh, get a life.

10 thoughts on “Happy Day

  1. Your mom sounds like a fantastic person. So quirky and fun. My mom can’t pronounce many words, yet she tries – with gusto – every time. So, rather than finding another word to replace the one she can’t pronounce, she says the wrong one, loudly, and repeatedly. It drives my husband crazy, but it’s endearing to me. 🙂

  2. Wishing you a good day, Katherine. This made me smile. It’s always the foibles that we remember and miss most fondly, isn’t it? Think I’ll stop worrying about the ones my kids have to endure from me, knowing those will be the things they remember best (and with smiles, I hope) when I’m gone.

    • remembering the foibles keeps her as a “real person” in my mind, you know? she was a little crazy sometimes, late all the time, and i’m thankful God put me with her.
      happy Mother’s Day, rita!

  3. I’m so glad to hear that my hero had some never finished projects, too. Happy Mother’s Day, Katherine!

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Good word Katherine! Ruth was a remarkable woman and kept me honest on a number of occasions. Being tasked with covering the dogs with a sheet one evening made me realize I had opened myself up to some wisdom, like it or not.

    I only once didn’t follow her advice….never made it to Erskine. Otherwise, it was followed to the letter. AP

  5. Don’t forget your mom once told all of us JMU girls we would find husbands if we wore lipstick. I love her, and I can’t put on lipstick without thinking about Ruth.

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