Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Emma and Momma

Frequently, when Emma is upset, Emma leaves school and drives straight to my mom.

She's doing a better job of recognizing when she's anxious and out of control and she's getting better at stopping the anxious-upset-more anxious-more upset cycle and taking herself out of the situation. And that means that, sometimes, I'll call home and my dad will answer with a cheerful "Emma's here!" and that's really all that needs to be said.

And when she is at Mom and Dad's house, she's generally fine. She'll talk with my mom - a little - about what is upsetting her and spend a little time watching a movie or shopping with me or Meg (or both of us) and she'll get a decent meal or two and she'll be able to go back to school in a day or two and she'll be okay.

I would be lying if I said that I didn't do the exact same thing when I was in college. Sometimes, college was too much and I just needed to go home and sleep in my own bed and have pancakes that weren't made from a mix.

Emma isn't going home. Not technically. She isn't going to the house that she grew up in. But I think that she's going to the place that feels most like home. Which is the place where my mom is.

My mom has said before that she feels like Emma and Anna - but Emma especially - are her children, too.

A few weeks ago, my mother asked Meg if she felt neglected by her because all of the time and effort she put into caring for Aunt Marie and mothering Emma. It was a question spurred on by marriage counseling. I'm sure of it.

I hope that my father wasn't suggesting that my mom's heart isn't big enough for our immediate family and our (needy) extended family, too. Because that is bullshit. To me, anyway. I've never once felt that my mom was pushing me away to deal with her ill sister or her daughters. If anything, I've felt lucky. Lucky that I have this mother who can and will fight tooth and nail for the right things for the people who she loves.

It has taught me a lot.

I'm a better person for simply witnessing her driving my aunt to her physical therapy appointments after her amputation. For watching her pack Emma's belongings in her car and take her to college. For knowing how exhausted she often was but never showed it when it counted.

Emma and Anna are so lucky to have my mom. And I know that they know it. They're always so sweet and thoughtful. They remember her birthday and buy her presents and, on Mother's Day, they send her cards.

Cards that always make her cry.


Kari said...

You have a great mom -- a mom with enough love to share. A mom who is the picture dictionary defintion of a mom --- a woman who was born to be a mom (likely why she is also a great prof). My mom is the same. I totally get that you are more than okay with it. Your mom is such a wonderful mom that you feel that everyone deserves to have someone like her in your life. She is the queen at multitasking yet making everyone still feel special. You will do the same for your children's friends, nieces, nephews, etc and already do it to your friends and family. It is part of who you are (and who your mom is).

Anonymous said...

I love this post. I hope I can be a mom like yours and I don't even really know her.

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