When you’re a daughter, you want to be just like the very best parts of your mom. Whether she is an excellent cook, a lean-in listener, has a voracious love of reading, or drinks Tab while smoking a cig.
This was a science experiment that started early for me. I witnessed my mom wash the floor on her hands and knees, oil the kitchen cabinets, hand wash each pot, pan, dish and spoon, and place perfect triangles in our green carpet.
Being Catholic, Jesus hung on the wall at the end of the hallway, like He was overseeing all of this, where I pictured Him saying at the end of the day, “This is good.”
8 year old me took note: keeping a tidy space is important.
I’m sure my mom wrung her hands as I clamored in from climbing the neighbors Pine trees, sap embedded in my palms, my clothes, my hair. I left her speechless many times, when after soccer practice, I would walk in clutching my broken pair of glasses. After being smacked in the face (again) after unsuccessfully trying to head the ball (again), we would diligently tape the spectacles back together down the middle like an optical repair ritual. When I wasn’t breaking my glasses on the regular, I loved wading in the creek to gather polliwogs and California Poppies in full bloom, getting filthy paying no mind to the dirt I tracked in. I was a walking, talking, mess maker.
10 year old me took note: when making a mess outside, do your best to not bring it inside.
The day when I became a mother…I watched closely as my mom held my twin babies. What’s the right way to sway with them? Does she say, “neener” or “nonner” first as she rhythmically moves back and forth in an ocean kelp dance where these two just screaming infants, are now calm and cool as cucumbers? Which was first…neener or nonner?
28 year old me took note: moms know how to do things innately…you will find your own kelp dance, but keep watching for clues just in case.
When I make tough decisions now, I often get quiet (after lots of yelling) and ponder, “What would Mom do?” (WWMD). Next, I have the audacity to grapple with the answer because what Foxy would do, is EVERYthing that comes COUNTERintuitive to me.
Mom: Be kind when folks lash out.
Me: Llike you mean when I want to tell them to FUCK OFF, mom?
Mom: Make the right decision selflessly.
Me: Like not have it be about ME, mom?
Mom: Everything will work out, honey.
Me: Will it though, MOM?
Mom: Do the right thing, especially when no one is watching.
Me: Okay Mom, Okay.
Almost 50 year old me is taking note: these guidelines are an excellent reminder of how to live as my dear friend Yvonne says, “in the good way”.
Not death or life can separate us. The bond between you and I is eternal, Mama.
Happy 8th Heavenly Birthday. Tell Jesus I said, “Hey!”
I love you, Foxy.
**Update: I found a ladybug INSIDE of my SHIRT today, on her Heavenly Birthday.. This was my mom’s nickname for the twins: ladybugs. Hi Mom :) **