Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mother Mine

I hope if you're reading this blog, you also read my darling mother's blog too. Mombat's Corner. I've linked it before, go find it. After you read this. Seriously.

In my mother's latest post, she admits that she isn't always the best mother. Well, she doesn't tell you the HALF of it. All the years of neglect, cruelty, starvation--mine was a hard life, indeed. For instance: My mother had a horrible habit of snatching me up, sitting me down, and forcing a brush through my tangled, matted hair. It was painful. It was torture. Never mind that I didn't brush my hair ever and it was beginning to resemble the kind of brush my brothers clip from the backyard. Horrible, horrible woman.

And once, when I was four, while we were driving, I humbly pointed out the spotted horses we were passing--"Look at the dalmatian horses, mommy!" My mother said, "No Kathleen, those are Appaloosas." Silly, silly woman. "No mommy. They're dalmatian horses."

She stood corrected.

And worst of all--the fourth of July starvation incident.

After a full course dinner, my parents took all us kids out to watch the fireworks. It was such a spectacle. The crowds, the explosions, the many many concession stands selling every kind of junk food a six-year-old could dream of. I was dying--I needed those cheesy nachos and ketchup-smothered hot dogs. Those crunch bags of doritos. But my unrelenting, harsh mother refused to buy me these overpriced delights. I was HUNGRY.

The next day at church, I trotted up to the altar for the children's sermon. Our pastor was giving a very serious sermon on children who didn't get to eat like we did. He asked us little ones how many enjoyed the fireworks. We all raised our hands. He then asked jokingly, "How many of you didn't get to eat last night?" In reference to the poverty-stricken children of the sermon and how we were blessed.

However, I was NOT a blessed child. Whilst watching the fireworks, my mother didn't buy me a single inordinately expensive snack. I dutifully raised my hand.

On the sidelines, my mother watched in horror.

The pastor said, "You didn't eat last night Kathleen?"

I said tartly, "No, I didn't! And I was really hungry!" My mind was mourning the loss of those nachos.

The congregation burst into laughter, all glancing at my mother who was by now permanently tomato-faced. I was confused. Hungry children are no laughing matter.

Amidst the ruckus, the pastor shouted, "Shame on you, Linda! Well, Kathleen, today at the church picnic we'll make sure you're first in line!"

After the service, my mother explained to me that the pastor had not meant the yummy snacks the were selling at the fireworks, he meant had I eaten at all? Oh, he meant that dinner mom had served with the gross veggies and meat and stuff?

But the pastor was good to his word, and I did get to go first in line at the picnic. At least church loved me.

My mother does have her moments however. One of my favorite memories is of my eighth birthday. This was during the period where we had just moved to our new state and hadn't gotten our house. Our living situation was not good. Not to mention, I was a lonely, crabby, smelly little girl who didn't understand quite what was happening to her family. Not to mention finances were awful--I didn't expect anything for my birthday. I was miserable. Mulan had just come out, and what I wanted the very most in the world was the Mulan and Shang barbie doll. Mulan and Shang didn't officially get together in the movie--a travesty in my seven-year-old mind. I needed these dolls to create my own story and make sure they got together. It wasn't for my personal gain--it was for Mulan and Shang.

But my mother trotted in the morning of my eighth birthday and gently woke me up. I was sharing a room with my brothers, but I didn't mind. It was better than the other option.

Now one of the fads in 97-98 were those bean bags that you threw against the wall and they screamed something. My mom had gotten me one and had flung it at my feet, where it bellowed, "OH NO!" My mom got a kick out of it. I did too.

Then my mom handed me my first present. I unwrapped it, and it was the Shang Barbie! Hallelujah! I looked at her hopefully.

My mother's face fell. She handed me another package. "I'm sorry honey, I just couldn't find the Mulan barbie. They were all out. All I could find was the horse."

I stared. Riding proudly on the toy horse, Khan, was my Mulan doll.

As you probably have gathered from my slightly wry posts, my mom is pretty much awesome. A couple of things about her:

1. My mom is possibly the classiest woman in the world. She could give Audrey Hepburn lessons. I have seen her look into the face of a demon and not flinch, but speak with grace and beauty whereas anyone else would have bitch-slapped.
2. My mom is unbelievably talented at both writing and music.
3. My mother has the most compassion of anyone I've ever met. She has taken all of my closest friends under her and treated them like her own daughters.
4. One of my mom's very few flaws is her inability to accept that she's the most wonderful mother in the world and how beautiful and special she is.
5. Another is when her kids do stupid things, she blames herself for 'bad parenting.' No, mom, we're stupid on our own.
6. No matter what any of her kids have gotten into, she has made herself get into too, so she can be a part of it. Beanie babies, pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Chaotic, Calvin and Hobbes, Bone, C.S Lewis--all or our various hobbies, she's been a part of.
7. My mom has an amazing faith in God which I wish I could emulate.

All in all, my mom is epic. :D

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