08 May 2010
Growing up, my mom and I often did not see eye to eye.  That is really a mild understatement you know.  In the fourth grade, we used to fight every morning about what I would wear to school.  Fourth grade people.  When fifth grade rolled around and so did a mandatory school uniform, she said it was one of the greatest moments of her life.  Until, I convinced her to let me get my hair cut like Cindy Lauper, short on one side, long on the other because you know, school uniforms stifle individuality. 

I'm pretty sure it even started before that.  When I was seven, I told her that I knew she was Santa in my bossy little voice, "because YOU write just like Santa and I saw the receipts!"  Ha!  Take that mom with your stupid little farce... trying to be nice playing Santa and filling up the tree with gifts like Christina my beloved Cabbage Patch Doll, I'll show you!  I may have ruined Christmas.

It continued through high school.  She used to wake us up Saturday mornings with the Ohio State Fight Song to clean the house.  No one wanted to stay at our house during football season.  We gave her the nickname Joan Crawford and talked about how TOTALLY unfair it was.  High school is also when I started calling her Janet.  Sometimes, Jan Bob.  She had to have wanted to kick me right in the ass.  But she didn't.

Instead, she let me be me. 

After graduation I went to Belgium as an exchange student and I walked right on to that plane without so much as a second glance.  I was very nonchalant about leaving for 10 months of my life because ugh... WHO would be homesick for this stupid place?  Turns out... me, that's who.  When I was sure I wanted to come home, she begged me to stay.  After two months, I came home anyway.  I think part of the reason I don't regret it is because she was so sure that I would.  Oh yeah Mom, just to spite you I will make sure this was the best decision of my whole life. 

We didn't speak to each other for nearly six months.  That was the moment right there, that we started dealing with each other as adults instead of parent and child. 

My first 'real' job was for a giant corporation.  She had to convince me to go to the interview because "ugh, I would never want to work for a giant corporation like you.  It's just not my thing."  She told me to at least interview for practice, so I did.  I worked there for 9 years and met my husband there. 

Did someone mention Dave?  The first time I brought him to my Meme's house, my mother told me he was the man I was going to marry.  I balked because I knew better, of course.  It would take Dave and I another year to figure that out for ourselves.

Oh, and the wedding?  She threw a fit because our caterer wanted to use plastic glasses so she paid extra to get real glass, she flew to San Francisco to buy the wine for our wedding directly from the vineyards and she thought we were I was {because I am pretty sure Dave agreed with her} a dumbass for having a "candy bar" in 2005 before people like Amy Atlas took them to an entirely new level.  Why she chose those particular things to focus on, I'll never know.  Dave referred to her as a tornado and said sometimes it's better to just duck and cover so we conceeded on the glass and the wine, but I didn't give up that candy bar.

So, my dear Jan Bob, it's Mother's Day... I know I haven't always been the easiest daughter, or the most tidy, or the one with the best attitude.   I know I often am stubborn, bossy, & know better than everyone else.  I'm a fierce competitor, annoyingly independent, got into all kinds of trouble, and fought with my sister.  I now spend my days telling the whole internet crazy shit about our family and I might be just a tad moody... sometimes.

But I am yours. 

And you are mine. 

And for that I am thankful. 

There isn't another who can ever fill your shoes Mom. 


Happy Mother's Day.  Go hug your Janet today.


Anonymous said...

My dearest child you and your sister are the greatest gifts in my life....and of course the scariest thing I had to make dammmmmmmmn sure I didn't screw up (there is NOTHING wrong with the smell of a freshly bleached bathroom). I know having a me as a mother not only prepared you for life (and gave you 10 years worth of material for your blog ...or maybe therapy) but allowed you to learn to be a strong independent and loving woman....and be able to be who you are (eeek, sorry internet) and also to accept the people for who they are but never concede yourself....I am grateful for the wonderful people that you and your sister have brought into my life and the fun (hmmmm, coming home from a trip out of town and "garbage" at the curb on Saturday when Tuesday was trash day ....the same day alot of your friends learned how to CLEAN A HOUSE AT 7 AM). The biggest gifts are the grandchildren who love unconditionally and think that I'm fun even when you, Dave (the son who never wanted to be mine) and Lyndsey roll your eyes and say "you're lucky she didn't raise you". To the "peeps" who helped me raise my beautiful daughters (BHC, Kath, Trac, Annie, Joanie, Lori, Rocks, Sue, Nize, Connie, Kimba, my sisters - Net, Linda, Judy, Bull and the greatest brother a girl could have James....Judy A, Peg, Sue, Gale, Jeffy, Danny, Rico and my MOM the infamous Meme and so many more....it DOES take a community to raise a child....and I am grateful for my community and my childre).

Jackie said...

You were a ton of trouble if I remember correctly! Happy Mother's Day Janet & you too Michelle!

loristanfa@buckeye-access.com said...

Michelle, you had me laughing and in tears at the end. What a tribute to my friend Janet. I am going to make Cole read it so he writes something nice about me when he grows up. Love, Lori

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