Today was a good day - time alone with Liam and some fun little projects like making a bank for him out of an oat meal carton collaged with pictures from travel and other magazines my college roommate Jean and I saved thirty years ago. We had the walls of our room all done in travel collages back then - her idea. Liam's little bank is fun, and secured with Mudge Podge, truly a magic product. This is one of those instances when having saved things did create great joy. One of the pictures we used on the bank is a very sixties dated cute sceen of red headed children cooking - complete with chef's hat - so perfect for strawberry blond Liam who loves helping his gourmet Daddy in the kitchen.
Tonight is the run up for Mother's Day. Part of me hates Hallmark holidays because they make so many people so sad - in this case mostly people who have lost their mothers or children to death or estrangement and women who have been unable to have children. I also enjoy Mother's Day because it is great for childlike crafts and expressions of love. Liam let me draw all the way around his body to make a Liam poster for Ruth - "Liam loves Mama!" and we stuck hearts all over it. It's fun to have a chance to be that freely playful and child-like.
One of my small writing groups prompts this week was to write about what our mothers did right. That was a brilliant prompt for me. Thank you Judy. My mother did so much right, and also made some painful mistakes. True of me as a mother too, I know. It felt good for this poem to just write about the good stuff, not to try to find a balance or paint the whole woman. This is a poem I will post both here and on the new poetry blog because it is both about my life and a poem.
My mother was a hot tamale,
world by the tail, first generation,
fast train out of Tiny Texas,
got rid of her Czech accent
kept her recipes, songs, family
loyalty, worked her way through
college in the middle of Depression
with the best job on campus,
loved hard, played great jazz piano,
sewed magic clothes that made me
feel like a perfect princess, got me
books, books, books, Listened to
my stories every afternoon after school,
told me her stories, told the truth as
she understood it, talked straight
about work, sex and money,
knew that life is hard and good.
taught me to use my gifts in gratitude.
and to question people who were too sure.
made a new career for herself in her fifties
aught classrooms of women how to take
care of themselves in the work world,
knew how to say she was sorry.