Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day to the mom who made me who I am

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Today is Mother’s Day in the US, and I wanted to take a moment to talk about my mom, so if sappy sentimentalism isn’t your bag, stick around, ’cause there’s sarcastic teasing, too.

The earliest memory I have of my mother is her bright red lipstick in the window of the hospital when we visited her after she gave birth to my brother. I was almost 3. I can see her huge smile clearly in my mind. My childhood memories are few, but most of them include my mother.

Our happiest times as a family, by general consensus, were when we lived in Spain. My dad was in the navy, and my parents, could they be more adorable, had time and money to have a social life, a nice place in Officers’ Housing, and domestic help.

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Later, my parents divorced and mom raised all four of us on her own, sometimes destitute but always providing for us. I have a lot of memories of her self-sacrifice during those times: how somehow she scraped together $400 to buy me the traditional-in-my-family graduation car; how she cried when she found out I’d passed on my senior trip because I didn’t want to ask her for the $25; how she found a job at our school so she could manage to make a living and still care for us when school was out.

Mom is a fierce mother bear, a smart-ass, a blazingly good cook, a genius, and the kind of person you want on your side, because she will mess you up if not.

We have had a complicated history, she and I, but I can’t think of any two people who are dearer to each other than we are, and I wrote her this poem a while back to try to tell her a little bit about how much she contributed to who I am:

I haven’t got anything
that didn’t come from you
my cells, earthen knitting
minerals and sunlight
the spit on a thousand tissues
the voice in my head that wonders

you wanted me,
always,
and danced at the news of me
I don’t have to stretch to find
the source of my joy
that I am in the world

I haven’t got anything
that didn’t come from you

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I wish I could offer you mansions and the staff to keep them clean, but I offer you instead my whole heart Find Out More. I love you so much!

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Author: Serene

I run The Mom Food Project, which was born out of love for my mom and a desire to preserve the recipes of my childhood, which didn't actually exist in written form until I quizzed my mom and wrote the recipes down.

2 thoughts on “Mother’s Day”

  1. Happy Mother’s Day Serene! What a nice post. My mom is on the phone with my kids right now telling them of all her favorite parts of NYC and planning when she will take them to all of her favorite spots. Love this photo and the poem. Thanks for sharing.

  2. There’s nothing more a mother could want than her child’s whole heart. So beautiful, Serene. I hope you had a happy Mother’s Day!

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