Crumpled Reminders of Mom
Raise your hand if your mom has ever driven you batty.
Welp, that looks like all of you. Just as I figured—I’m in good company!
My mom and I are so different, I marvel at how half of my DNA is hers. In order to retain my sanity, I moved away when I was eighteen, and kept on moving. Now I’m just under a four-hour drive from her, and it works for us.
The distance helps me appreciate her more. She’s the one who nurtured my love of reading and writing. She’s the one to blame my sweet tooth on, who introduced me to real Vermont maple syrup, and proved that homemade desserts are the very best kind. She instilled manners and modesty in someone who now knows how to balance a tendency to be mouthy with the right amount of respect for others.
When I get the call that she needs me, I drop everything and run.
Each time I go, I promise myself I’ll bite my tongue this time, but it’s hard for us to cohabitate. After a few days we begin to clash. And by that I mean we’re both violently rolling our eyes behind each other’s back, and our passive aggressiveness could drown the elephant in the room. I leave happy to have seen her, but frustrated by our friction. During the long drive home—one I often do alone—I dwell on it. Why don’t we have more common ground? Will this visit’s tiny fissures end up breaking into a gulf?
As soon I get home, my life swallows me whole, and I get distracted from my worries. I hope for the best, and start washing the dishes no one touched while I was away.
Then I get the mail.
Every month, like clockwork, my mom sends me a card with coupons for Miralax and FiberOne cereal, “just in case,” with a note about little nothings in her scribbly handwriting with lollipop-like Ps.
Now, I love me some cereal and good poops, but I haven’t needed coupons for either of these things since I healed from anal surgery five years ago. But like any mom’s insistence we remember some distant relative despite the fact that we have not seen that person since we were learning to walk, or needing to discuss the price of gas and milk for a minimum of forty-five minutes each time we see them, there is no stopping this train.
Not that I want it to stop.
Each time I get these cards, I feel like it’s Christmas for my butt again. Someone important out there is thinking of it, and wants it to be happy, so sends a thoughtful gift (or two) its way. How could I turn that away?
My mom and I might part slightly strained by our differences, but these coupons tell me like clockwork that I am always on her mind, in her heart, and she will never stop wanting to take care of me. Because of this, I can’t bear to actually use them—I stuff them in the kitchen drawer and my desk. They end up scattered around my house. I love finding them all over the place.
These crumpled rectangular reminders that my mom thinks of me fill me up with confidence that we will always find our way back to each other, and allow me to think of the happier connections we have rather than our differences. It may seem a little strange to some, but strange works for both of us. I mean, I am her daughter, after all.
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This post was written by Kim Bongiorno exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.