Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Mother Hubbard

Mother Hubbard @ Castle Beach
Mothers have been on my mind lately. My mother. Your mother. The mother of the Ex. The woman who mothers all the children that ever cross her path. The mother that I am today.

My mother & I have an 'interesting' relationship. We've been friends for all of my life. My earliest memories of her don't consist of us doing Mommy & Daughter things like making up our hair or buying clothes or pajama parties or even baking together in a warm kitchen somewhere ~ things that I've been told most mother daughter pairs do.

Instead my earliest memory is being 4 & she was sewing a pair of red holoku'u dresses for my sister & I. She dressed us in them with puka shell leis & snapped our pictures outside of our apartment in Torrence, California.

A rare pic of Mother Hubbard & me
Mother/Daughter. There are perks to this: we've had fascinating conversations on politics, religion, marriages, men, foods, movies, books. She was the first to hear my tales of debauchery (fancy word for naughty behaviors) & the last to see me cry. She was the one who went to College Algebra with me so that I could - after 4 failed attempts at it- pass it with a C+.

We've also missed out on landmark mother/daughter things: prom dresses, growing pains & arguments.

Some of the way our relationship has evolved is my doing: I've been an adult all of my life. I think I was born 40 years old. So now that I am 40 it doesn't feel any different from when I was not 40.

Part of it is her doing: She didn't know how to relate to a daughter. Her own upbringing did not include models for her to copy in developing a relationship with a daughter - which as I've come to understand is hugely different from the relationship one has with one's sons.

(I am a mother to three sons:18 years old, 11 years old & 8 years old)

I've been searching for years for the parts of me that are my mother, to some how understand how she & I are related. Looking for pieces of myself, in the woman my mother is.We could have a different kind of relationship but we fall into the dynamics that we do. Sometimes we get stuck on the comfortable instead of getting uncomfortable with the unknown & progressing past what we were to something more glorious - the what we are.

Sim & Grammy Hubbard@ Castle Beach

I watch my mother & ask myself ~ How can she be my mother? She's so NICE. I have a whole list of people (ok mostly men) who will tell you whatever else I am, I am NOT NICE. She plays piano. She can sing & dance & so forth. I can not. She's math inclined. I am so math declined I'm almost dyslexic at it.

We see & behave so very differently to everything.

We were sitting in church the other day & some person was sermonizing about something I really thought was stupid & I was going to go say something to that woman, when she dug her nails into my arm & said,"Just sit still." As if! I'm 40 years old! If I want to call some ignorant woman out at church, I can if I want too! Needless to say, I sat still anyway.

Mother Hubbard makes me crazy. She asks me a zillion times in a zillion different ways about the same thing sometimes. She once corrected me on how to wash dishes in front of my eldest son, who started laughing. He was all like... Wow! Mama I think you're the only person in the whole world who can talk to my mother like that and still live.

Mother just laughed and told him,"Well, where do you think she got that from?"

Where mother is a flow not fight person, I'm a Bring It Bitch and we'll just see which one of us is the last bitch standing. My mother is reticent about resolving issues, I already have the solutions and am working on how to make you see the solution is the most affordable, efficient & time saving one available. Mother doesn't bother to say I told you so because she already knows that you know she told you so. I savor the I told you so's for the ones who didn't listen the hardest. (See? You knew I had that in me!)
She doesn't get involved in other peoples business because she believes it really isn't any of her business. (hmm... that's something we do share) She loves puttering around in her garden ( Another commonality). She loves chocolate but is allergic to it (Oh! So that's where I get that from too! Double the benadryl cocktail please).

Mother Hubbard as I fondly call her - is a Mother of quiet talents. She's a firm believer in do what you're gonna do & then do it right. She doesn't want attention or credit or fanfare for her accomplishments. She just wants it done. She is dedicated, almost neurotic about her tasks being completed & seeing something through to the end.

(That is a quality that I've been attempting to master the past five years.)

Another quality she possess that I've been digging deep in me to emulate is her ability to study & work consistently. All of my life, I've gotten away with getting pretty decent grades & good jobs skating by on my talents. I didn't work on it. I didn't diligently plug away at it. My talents had a feast & famine cycle: some years it was good - really good & some years it was bad - really bad. Its been her gift to me to learn to do a little bit every day so that I savor the good times & make them last & have the persistence to outlast the bad times.

I'm starting to get the hang of it. Kinda.

She doesn't believe in confrontation, instead she prefers that you go figure it out yourself. Scream if you're in too deep but you'd better be ready to swim like your life depends on it because it does. Mother Hubbard does not do search & rescues. She does recoveries. I am not like that: If you are in trouble & I see it, I'm going to help you help yourself. I'm going to stick with you until your safe.

She doesn't like restaurants, she doesn't like fancy schmancy parties. She doesn't like hanging out with the croanies, preferring instead to spend her time with her family, more specifically - her grandchildren. She gives everything she is & has for her grandchildren.

I often tell my kids, the kind of gramma that she is now isn't the kind of mother she was then. They have the absolute best of her always. I am most grateful every day for the blessing of being able to raise my children in a home where their grandmother is. I want to some day be able to live with my children & grandchildren together. (At the rate the economy is going, that may not be too unrealistic!)

Mother Hubbard also doesn't believe in telling people who or what they are. She lets you find that out for yourself. If you are especially stupid or stubborn - that could take you a very long time. It took me a long time.

(Hello! Even Moses had to wander the wilderness for 40 years!)

I can't exactly say that we're similar in that respect either. I know who my children are, I'm just trying to make sure the journey to themselves isn't kidnapped or held hostage by worldliness & temptations.

Mother & I share a love of books. We love books. This is testified by the mountains of books we have crammed into small spaces. We also share a decided lack of love for bookshelves as testified to the fact that we've got thousands of books between the 2 of us and NO BOOKSHELVES anywhere.

Mother & I also dislike exercising in groups - which I didn't learn we shared about until this summer. I always knew she walked alone but didn't ever know the reason why until I asked her about it. She said,"I walk to exercise not hang out & listen to so and so go on and on about stuff. I have work to do, so I do it."

Which surprised me! Because that's exactly how I feel about working out. I have work to do here @ the gym - talk to me later or something but for now, get out of my way.

As I become older, its become easier to see how I am Mother's daughter & to see how if she wasn't the woman she has always been, there is no way I could be the woman I am now.

Thank you Mother Hubbard, for everything. I love you.

With love & delicious Mothering~

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