You never realize how much your mother loves you
till you explore the attic—
and find every letter you ever sent her,
every finger painting,
cardboard Santa Claus,
paper-lace Mother’s day card,
and school report since day one.
My instructor from my VCFA’s writing course
(yep, I am still plugging along)
has been giving me writing prompts
to rekindle memories of my childhood,
for my free writing exercises.
(To write for children you have to
remember your own childhood.)
They have brought back many fond,
I am giving you an assignment.
It is a writing prompt!
Think of a small moment in your childhood which has your mother in it.
It can be funny, sentimental, a picnic, a drive, washing the dishes, anything.
Think of your senses. Close your eyes and remember back. Now write the moment.
(I am giving you some time to let it peculate in your mind)
SEND IT TO YOUR MOTHER FOR MOTHER’S DAY!
There is a reason she holds on to all of those childhood memories.
She is trying to hold on, as tightly as she can, to a piece of you…
You will always be a part of her.
Here is one of my memories:
The color crayon box sat open, on its side, while I sat next to Randy on one of the bar stools, coloring in the kitchen. The color book was Peanuts characters, and I was coloring Linus with his blanket. Randy was eating. Kevin was behind us watching Star Trek in the family room. He was cracking sunflower seeds, kept in a huge cookie jar, spitting the seeds in a paper towel.
“Hey Jens,” Randy began, “Do you want to know something?” He was dunking a Hostess HO-HO in milk. I was concentrating on staying in the lines with the blue blanket, so I was only half listening.
“What?” I said, now stopping to hear.
“Did you know that mom loves dad more than she love us?!”
“Nah-uh.” I said, and picked up the box to find green. I was used to being teased. I had four older brothers and one older sister.
“Yes sir. And she loves Denny more than Scott and Scott more than Becky and Becky more than Kevin and Kevin more than me, and she loves ME more than YOU!”
“Nah-uh!” I said, a little less sure.
Randy turned to the wiser older brother and asked, “Hey Kev, does mom love dad more than us?” He didn’t reply.
“See, he didn’t answer because he doesn’t believe you!” I snapped back.
Randy got off the bar stool and stood in front of the TV. This was a brave move because Kevin was very possessive of his afternoon television. Randy was on shaky ground.
“GET OUT OF THE WAY!” Kevin yelled.
“Does mom love dad more than she loves us?” Randy stared him down.
“Well Duh,” he confirmed, “Now get out of the way!”
Randy climbed back up on the bar stool and continued eating, as if he had accomplished his task and now it was finished. I could feel an eruption of emotion flooding through my body as if I had a surge of energy and strength which needed release. The tension pressed through my legs, which pushed the underneath counter of the bar. My bar stool went in slow motion backwards. I turned to look at Randy, who also turned towards me in slow motion, but his limbs were frozen. I kept falling backwards on the chair, down, down, down, until I hit with a loud thud. My air was gone. It had been knocked out of my lungs from the fall. I looked up gasping; my two older brothers were screaming down at me.
“Jens, Jennifer, Can you breathe? MAWM!”
Then my mother was leaning over me in a split second. She grabbed me and tilted me upward, patting my back. A huge gush of air pushed out of my lungs and I gasped in to fill the empty pressure. She ran around the kitchen gathering items while carrying me, and then sat me up on the bar.
“Jenny!” She screamed. She by now had filled a kitchen cloth with ice and had set it to the back of my head. Randy was stunned and Kevin went back to watching TV. My mother cradled me, holding my face to her shoulder, while holding the ice to my head. I could see Randy’s face ashen and solemn staring at me behind my mother. I then vomited all down the front of her blouse and down on her shoes. Randy grabbed his mouth and ran to the bathroom. She took the cloth and dumped the ice out on the bar over my color book, then used it to wipe herself, as best as she could, still holding on to me.
My voice came out crackly as I whispered, “Mommy, do you love everyone more than me?”
She looked at my face, and held me to a dry spot next to the wet vomit smell on her blouse, and said, “Hush now, that is ridiculous. I adore you!” Then her voice became brisk.
And then I knew for sure Randy was wrong.