Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Mother's Day Story

Dear Mom ,

It was me.

I can’t -- and my somewhat protective, surely selective memory won’t -- recall the exact circumstances, but do you remember that sophisticated crystal vase from the Daffodil Shop? The one that was so elegantly angled and curved that you received as a Christmas gift when I was about 11?

It was marked with the distinctive “Daffodil Shop” sticker and a lush, richly relaxed yellow satin ribbon. Inside, the vase itself was nestled in an extravaganza of tissue paper – sheets and sheets more than a frugal family like ours would ever tuck in a box of common socks or shirts. After opening, you left it on display under the tree, in its whiter-than-white gift box with the sticker tucked inside, as a reminder of the “special” origins of the gift.

To this day. I don’t exactly remember what happened next, but I suppose we kids were messing around – or, truth to tell, tormenting each other. One thing lead, as it always does, to another. And yikes.  Next thing I knew, I was scavenging through the “junk” drawer, desperately seeking the SuperGlue, so I could reattach the base.

But to you, I never said a word.

Inexplicably, except for a brief interrogation of all three of us kids, you didn’t either, although I suspect you knew all along.

I’m sorry.

A few years later, when I was old enough to drive, I stopped by the Daffodil Shop, naively hoping to find – and afford – a replacement. Silly me.

For these last 16 years, I’ve been a mom, too. And I’ve been fortunate enough to learn “how” to be a mom from a host of role models. From friends who brim over with wisdom. From kindergarten teachers with 10 times my experience and expertise. From neighbors who never knew I was observing (and learning). From unrealistic and optimistic TV shows. From my sister who is both an educator and a mom. And, of course, from my own mom – who, on occasion, but not very many, let me “slide” – and, as a result, learn an unforgettable life lesson.

Thanks, Mom. I love you.
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