“Oh. Your son looks more like you.”
The speaker gets the unique opportunity to swallow her words in the face of being disproved as my mother and I react in the exact same manner- beautiful faces twisting into an expression of complete derision. The speaker falters and walks away. My mother and I rant about what a bitch she was to say something so stupid as we make our way to dinner.
We’re not always this petty, I promise. But my mother knows better than anyone how hurtful I find these comments, and that the best way to deal with that hurt is lighthearted pettiness.
Like the time she asked a security guard if the place she chose to park was safe, and he said yes. We walked through the skyway with my little brother and indulged in our new addiction- Coldstone Creamery. Upon returning to the same store, the guard informed her that it wasn’t safe, after all. There was a war of emotions on my mothers’ face, until she finally took the spoon from her dish of ice cream and flicked the spoonful onto a nearby mirror.
“And I’m not cleaning that up either.”
My brother and I died that day, a death of laughter.
That wasn’t the only time we died such a death, of course. In a fit of silliness, my mother invited myself, 13, and my brother, 10, into her bedroom, under pretense of a serious question. She then ambushed us with a tickle fight.
A lot of my childhood memories involve watching my mother from a distance, breathless, because I never found anyone more beautiful, even Mariah Carey. Her long, dark hair fell in nearly-uniform ringlets down her back, and it was this trait that convinced me that she was a princess.
So many of my hopes for the future involve being able to repay some measure of the joy my mother has so selflessly brought to my life. The memories that I’ll cherish forever, the family she taught me to appreciate, the brother that is always by my side.
And the rest of my hopes are that she’ll be around for much more joy of her own.