It’s been a while since I wrote, but I have a feeling you know that I think of you every day. Every time I rough-house with the kids, I hear my laugh and I realize how much it sounds like yours when you chased me and my siblings around the house yelling about the Karate-chicken or Thunder-Thighs. Even when I raise my voice with the kids, I hear your words (the words I told you I would never say to my children) come pouring out. I think of you and laugh.
I think of all those times I’d tell you how different I would do things *if* I ever decided to have kids. You would laugh, try to play with my hair and say, “You’ll see, sweetie.” Oh, man, that drove me up the wall.
You were right, Mom, when you said I’d see.
I remember how mad I got in junior high when I saw your new bumper sticker that said something like, “My revenge will be perfected when my kids have their own kids.” Oh dear, I remember the fit I threw. Still, you just looked at me in surprise, and said with a laugh, “Just wait… You’ll see!” Then you fled.
I’m not mad anymore, Mom. I imagine you somewhere, chuckling as you watch me make the same mistakes, saying, “See? Now you see.”
You were right – no one is perfect. Everyone’s doing their best. Thank you for giving me the words, “You’ll see, Sweetie.” I do see and I feel the love and connection that you must have felt when I brush my own daughter’s hair and she squeals happily because she loves her braids. I also feel the connection when she shrieks in anger when I hit a snag, because I hear my own voice screeching at you to stop.
I feel your joy when I hear my son say out of the blue, “You know what, Mom? I love you.” I even feel your exasperated chuckle when he screams that he wishes I didn’t exist because I asked him to put his shoes away.
You always said that being a mom was the best and hardest thing you ever did. Now I know what you meant.
I may have lost you ten years ago, but I feel you with me every day. As my kids say, I love you to the moon and back and infinity times infinity plus one.