Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Memory of my Mother

This is a quick memory I wrote, originally for Mother's day to my Mom. I finally finished it two months later. Happy Mother's day Mom. What are some memories you have of something your mother did that still stays with you today?


The wind whispered to the trees, who answered with a disagreeable shake, covering me with a fresh coating of snow. Even though it wasn’t snowing, I was laden down and soaking wet, with each new gust reaching deeper inside me. I was beginning to rethink my decision to walk my best friend home, now that I had accomplished the task and had only my breath as companion. But, I hadn’t been ready to part ways when it was time, so I waved to my siblings and told them I’d take the long way home. An impetuous decision, given the weather, but done in the name of fourth-grade friendship.

Just a few more houses, and I’d crest the big hill. It would be the perfect sledding hill, were it not for the unfortunate fact that it was a busy road. I precariously placed each moon boot down as close to the sweeping drifts and plow leftovers as I dared. The sidewalks wouldn’t be visible or approachable for months. With each passing car, I turtled into my coat and held up my arms against the residual flurry, berating myself once again for forgetting my scarf. It now fruitlessly warmed the brick-colored tiles on the floor of the school coat room. A few more cars passed. A few more houses. I peeked out of my cocoon. Almost. Almost. There it is. Our street. Home.

Knowing what awaited me kept me going. I would have smiled in anticipation if I hadn’t thought my cheeks would break from the effort. I knew my mom would be waiting for me. And not just waiting. I knew she would have a warm, comforting snack. She’d help me off with my stiff gloves and thick coat. She’d rub my arms down to warm me up. How many cold days had I walked home? How many times had my boots crunched through snow to and from school? Other than my solitude, this one was no different.


Decades later, I remember this particular walk. The grey skies were streaked with colors that pointlessly fought to be blue. It wasn’t because it was specifically colder than any other day. It was the warmth of the knowledge that my mother would be home, waiting for me, that engraved the memory of that walk home deep in my soul. How sure I was of that fact. I was more certain of her presence, waiting with a warm snack just for me, than I was that the sun would rise the next day.

And I was not wrong. Trudging up our driveway that would need to be shoveled once again, I almost broke into a run to prove to any wayward doubts that my mom was there. Immediately after entering through our garage, I shook off the last layer of snow and stomped my way inside. My mother was there in seconds, helping remove my hat, gloves and coat. I couldn’t help it. I smiled. For no apparent reason. Yet, I knew why. As my nose begin to thaw, I smelled it. Hot chocolate.

My siblings were scattered up and down the counter, hands surrounding their individual, steaming mugs. Content. I quickly joined them and their conversations, warming my soul with words and delicious drink. It was most likely hot carob, now that I think of it, but as a child, I honestly didn’t know the difference.

The rest of that day, and the majority of my childhood has since blurred into scenes of unspecific happiness. But the feelings of cold, tempered by the sweet knowledge of security live on. What a gift to have a mother waiting for us each day as we came home. What a gift.

I now live in the Valley of the Sun, where snow is so rare that the very rumor of it escalates into prime time news. So, I greet my kids as they ride home on their bikes and scooters with popsicles. Neon green, deep purple and some shade of orange that looks like the over processed tangelos in the store. We sit up to the table, where the ceiling fan is whirring away, as they plop their backpacks on the floor and kick off their flip flops, declaring this to be the hottest day yet. We lounge around licking and talking as they recount the wonders of their day. I may not be quite like my mom, in any regards, but in this one aspect I hope I’ve learned from her. What a gift to be at home. Waiting for my children each day. Waiting with open arms... and a snack.


VikiViki said...

Nice Jennie. So true. Well written!

Marilyn said...

Love it! Keep writing.

Diana Waite said...

BEAUTIFUL tribute to your mommy!

Julia said...


Peggy Shumway said...

You are talented, Jennie. What precious memories!

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