Monday, June 1, 2015

To file into my mothering folder.

I read this on a blog on mothers day and have been wanting to remember it ever since. It really spoke to me and got me all choked up. Every bit of it is so true I just loved it so much. The other night I shamelessly yelled at Max. I had a terrible headache, I was on my period (which I haven't had in over 2 years) I was tired...the list of excuses goes on and on. I felt awful after. He was acting his normal whiny hard self and I couldn't take it anymore. I snapped. After I calmed down I went and apologized he quickly said "thats okay mom" but I kept pressing him telling him sometimes being a mom is hard and I am trying my best but sometimes I am wrong and moms need to be able to say "sorry" I wish I never had to say it but I am not perfect and neither is he. He is learning and growing and I need to be the best mom I can be for him. I hope that I can be enough for him, for all of my kids.


The other day as I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room
bouncing from typewriter to piano
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
I found myself in the "L"section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word, Lanyard.
No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one more suddenly into the past.
A past where I sat at a workbench
at a camp by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid thin plastic strips into a lanyard.
A gift for my mother.
I had never seen anyone use a lanyard.
Or wear one, if that's what you did with them.
But that did not keep me from crossing strand over strand
again and again until I had made a boxy, red and white lanyard for my mother.
She gave me life and mild from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips,
set cold facecloths on my forehead
then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim and I in turn presented her with a lanyard.
"Here are thousands of meals" she said,
"and here is clothing and a good education." 
"And here is your lanyard," I replied,
"which I made with a little help from a counselor."
"Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth and two clear eyes to read the world." she whispered.
"And here," I said, "is the lanyard I made at camp."
"And here," I wish to say to her now,
"is a smaller gift.  Not the archaic truth,
that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took the two-toned lanyard from my hands, 
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless worthless thing I wove out of boredom
would be enough to make us even."

--Billy Collins

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