Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day: reflecting on the hands that nourished me as I grew...

A truly grateful daughter and mother (JessTrev) reflects on Mother's Day.

Mom? I must say, I'm grateful for many things over the years. The fact that you grew tomatoes in the backyard and basil in the driveway, made the garlickiest pesto in the universe, and snuck whole wheat flour into our cookies (ok, I'm only now grateful for that). The fact that you taught my preschool and all of your buddies kept their eyes on me during my whole school career (again, only now feeling gratitude). The fact that you helped me appreciate color in the world: an old canning jar filled with black-eyed susans, a stepping stone made from seaglass and plaster, a patchwork dress with a sunset of red, orange, yellow (I'm sorry now that I would never wear those quilted pants when I was five. Also, I forgive you for giving me that Dorothy Hamill when I was six since I now better appreciate the vexing nature of a child's 'rats nest'). I'm grateful that you may never have ironed a single thing in the laundry basket during my entire childhood (I'm working on matching your record), and that you let me play in the woodshop in the basement by myself. Ditto for solo stained glass-making.

Today? I got your message. I'm so grateful that you sent me a pack of edible flowers again for Mother's Day! Don't worry if they got eaten my the mail sorter. I don't care if they ever arrive. It really is the thought that counts. I love that you are trying not to lose your travel coffee mug just to please me. I love that when you got reusable bags a couple years ago, you went and found stunningly beautiful red and olive ones instead of the practical black nylon ones I'd been toting. I love that you tell my children that they are so good for eating up their ice cream and getting all that calcium! I love that you thought about what was going into our bodies when we were little, and that even though you were on a budget, you made sure we were exposed to mouthwatering fare: jalapeno jack cheese on a cracker with a pepperoncini on top, drippy, tomatoey antipasto with olives and tuna, sourdough bread with thick-sliced salame, and stuffed peppers with ping (spinach, parmesan, egg and stale bread). I love that you proudly declared, "Everything is better if you make it yourself!" I love that you taught me to think about cooking as a way to nurture and care for those you love, and about food as a way to stay healthy.

I can also respect the fact that you tore into your Mother's Day gift the second it arrived in the mail. Yesterday. I know that it made you happy, even though it will make you sad when you wake up Sunday and there is nothing left to open. I only wish I had the foresight at Christmas when I was visiting to hide something from you and for you for this occasion. I can picture you glorying in the framed picture of your delicious grandchildren front and center on your mantelpiece as you have your girlfriends over tonight for wine and desserts. (This just in: just when the grandmother love couldn't get any cuter? "I walk around the house with my picture. I want it with me at all times."

On a personal level, this Mother's Day? I've already gotten the best of treatment. My daughter had a special celebration and tea at school (I was so proud of her as she held an E for moth-E-r high -- did you know her name starts with E??! -- and remembered all the words to the songs) and my husband's woken up with the kids for two days and nights solo, since I've been reeling from seasonal allergies. Which I've never had before, and only just now realized might be due to the five or so loving bouquets my daughter collected last week in walks around our neighborhood and woods.

All of my good feelings and reminiscing about my mom? And the savoring I'm doing of my family? I hope to express around a meal made with love on Sunday. Words to honor and cherish relationships and sacrifice, care and thousands of small but tender tasks. May you have the time and energy to do the same! Delicious food, prepared by loving hands. May we all think about where our food comes from, the hands that grew it, and the hands that helped to nourish us as we grew.

May your Mother's Day be wonderful, and give you the chance to reflect on those who nurtured you, or your own nurturing of those you love.

(Check out this list of non-consumer-driven Mother's Day ideas from a mom on the compact if you still want something tangible to do tomorrow - many thanks to Dooblehvay for the tip.)

This is the Green Phone Booth's entry for the Green Moms Carnival on Mother's Day, being hosted by Diane at Big Green Purse.


Diane MacEachern said...

What a beautiful post. It inspires me to want to be a better mother. Thanks for writing this.

Anna (Green Talk) said...

I ditto Diane. You have such a way of bring characters to life when you write. I can just picture your mother. What a wonderful role person she was and still is.
The apple does not fall from the tree, Jess.

mother earth aka karen hanrahan said...

I love the apology for not wearing those quilted pants, how many of us have a memory of childhood defiance ...I appreciate the love you and your mom have for each other


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