I have magical childhood memories. We played in the creek that ran through our yard, catching crawdads and building forts in the woods. Hot summer days brought banana seat bikes, and lemonade stands. But it wasn't really until this mother's day that I began to contemplate what my own mother was doing on those days that I was relishing childhood.
And finally, now that I am a mother, and in charge of trimming 40 fingernails and toenails each week have I begun to piece together what it was that filled her days. Oh yes, now I understand very well and I wonder how in the world I didn't see it before.
I read The Invisible Woman, When Only God Sees last week. Recommended by my friend Christy, it was perfect timing.
There were so many memorable parts. I loved this one especially.
Next Thanksgiving I don't want my son to tell his friends, "My mom gets up at four in the morning and bakes pies and hand-bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." I don't want his attention to be called to the things that I do. Those things mean nothing, and might even indicate that I've built a shrine, or some other not-so-great cathedral, in honor of myself. I just want him to want to bring his friends home often, and maybe to say something like, "You're gonna love it at my house. It's a great place to be."
As the sun was setting on Mother's Day, my mom, sister and I drove to my grandmother's graveside to leave our love and some flowers. My mom asked me if I would share a memory. I thought about how my grandmother would sit next to me on her piano bench. The same piano and bench that are now in my own home. She taught me how to play my first song, I dropped my dolly in the dirt. It was a small gesture. Maybe invisible to others. But her encouragement of that little talent remains though she has moved on. I play the piano each Sunday in church.