Woof. I just finished a book. It was great. So great I’m covered in tears and snot from a full-on cry. This wasn’t a sad cry for the heroine or happy for the new couple that has found each other. No, this was 100% full-fledged selfish tears for me and my mom.
In Glitter and Glue: A Memoir, Kelly Corrigan puts to words EXACTLY what I’ve been thinking this last year. I spent 33 years thinking my mom was second-rate compared to my dad, but the second I got pregnant the tables turned. Now, as a mom, I find myself only thinking of her. Thinking of all of the horrid shit I laid in her path. Of how I would constantly skip off to find my favorite parent, leaving her with piles of laundry and another damn dinner to plan.
I’m sure I’m in the sweet spot for Ms. Corrigan’s book, but I think all grown-up daughters would get something out of Glitter and Glue. Here’s a paragraph from the book that sums it up nicely.
“But now I see there is no such thing as a woman, one woman. There are dozens inside of every one of them. I probably should have figured this out sooner, but what child can see the woman inside her mom, what with all that Motherness blocking out everything else?”
I wish on all the stars in the sky that my parents could have met Malorie, but 80% of that is because I wish they were here for me. That I could ask them questions it never occurred to ask them before. To hear stories of their time as parents as told to a peer, not a child. For my mom to tell me what the hell I’m supposed to be in any number of new situations.
Eggroll just started making noise after her nap. I must go and love and pay attention to her. To her current illness. To her safety. Her education. Her future. Her opinion of mothers.
I’ll do so with a fear that my relationship with her turns into a repeat of that with my mom. Another quote from the book fits perfectly…
“Pulling at the hem of my emotions was the creeping sense that it might well take until 2036 for this child in my arms to feel a fraction of what I already felt for her.”
I love this girl so much! But after cleaning up poop-filled pants all week, I just can’t bring myself to be the tap-dancing fun parent, too.
God, is this a hard job. So unrewarding AND rewarding in the same instant.
I’m so sorry, mom. I never sent you the fruit basket* you most rightly deserved.
*Yes, by “fruit basket”, I mean the 1/4 bottle of vodka you finished every night. As long as you did everything else, it makes sense you took care of that, too. If only you had discovered Dove chocolate or suduko puzzles earlier.