My mom is a funny creature.
There are times I would catch her humming the Cranberries song Zombie while she's watering her plants. She loves her residential flora, almost as much as she loves her kids and grandkids. I know that it isn't unusual for plant-lovers to talk to their plants, but is lovingly humming songs like Zombie to them normal?
When I screw up, she has this way of talking to me that makes me shrink; it's like I'm a wayward kid all over again. She hardly ever yells, but the tone she uses, soft as it is, is no less stentorian. In those moments she makes me cringe with anger and shame.
But there are other things I remember.
Like how comforting her hand felt smoothing my hair away from my sweaty brow as I, writhing and moaning in pain from gallstones, was being driven to the hospital. How calming and reassuring her whispers were. Better than Lamaze.
Like how she would spend hours with each newborn child just so that I could catch a few zzzzz's after a sleepless night.
Like how she'd be there to offer her very tangible support during very lean times, even without my asking.
Like how she would wake me up just to tell me that something I liked was showing on TV. And even though I'd seen that show already, I'd watch it again out of appreciation of the fact that she knew I liked it. To this day, I can't figure out how she knew I liked that particular show. I didn't let anyone know I liked it; it was that cheesy.
Like how she loves, accepts, and supports me and my siblings unconditionally. She may question, oh boy, does she ever. But when all is said and done, whatever the issue - from the breakup of my marriage to the exploits of other relatives to whether it's okay to hum Zombie to the plants - the love, acceptance, support, and understanding are there...in-your-face or behind-the-scenes, they're always there. Along with her crazy-ass sense of humor and the exasperating radio dramas she listens to. I'm immensely thankful I was born to this terrific woman, she who is my despair, my inspiration, my goddess, my bulwark.
My mom's a funny creature, and I love her so much.
A blessed and meaningful Mother's Day to all mothers and mothers-to-be, young and old.