When I was little, and we lived on Autumn Avenue, my mother used to come into my room at night to tuck me in bed. She always smelled like Oil of Olay. To this day when I catch the scent of Oil of Olay I feel instantly safe and comforted. She would sing with me. Duets. I'd sing "I hear singing when there's no one there... all day long I seem to walk on air..." and she'd sing the part about the velvet glove. Velvet touch. I can only remember my parts. And then she'd kiss me goodnight and I would feel safe and loved.
|My mother is so pretty she can even pull off that horrible yellow!|
When I grew up a little, my mother and I would fight! By the time I hit 13, we would fight and fight and fight. But we always made up. It's something I've held onto my whole life: the fight will end. If it was a bad fight, you might be making up through tears. But you will make up. It's another way she makes me feel safe.
|If you knew how my hair worked, you would know how long it took Mom to get mine to look like that!|
My mother made me do stuff. She made me study piano and go to church and do my homework and limit my television and some of the stuff she made me do, I still do. She helped me through all the scary parts of growing up. She walked me gently through hugs after I first noticed my own breasts and thought I had to hug people sideways. And she talked me through my first terrible tampon experience. And she let me stay in a room by myself at the horrible, scary Heart of Chicago hotel when I was 18 and off to visit Loyola for the first time. That one was probably pretty tough! But I was accustomed to feeling safe because I always did.
And I know how much she loves me still. And how much she loves my girl. And she loves my Don (even though, fun fact, when I told her I got back together with Don after a horrible breakup in the mid-90s she recommended that I seek therapy. But she's been cool with him ever since). Mom is always good for a chat when you need one and a kind word when you need one. And I love her a whole lot. And I hope the smell of Ponds is as comforting to Laney 40 years from now as the smell of Oil of Olay is to me.
So, happy birthday, Momma! I sure do love you a lot.