"I've decided that perhaps I'm bulimic and just keep forgetting to purge."

-- Paula Poundstone

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I still need my Momma

I miss Momma today.

I was just reading my friend Nancy's blog post about the start to her weekend with her daughter, and it brought up sweet memories of Momma for me.

Nancy and her college-

aged daughter have a lot of similarities to me and my mom, most notably that it's always been just the two of them — just like me and Momma.

It made me wish my mom isn't nearly 600 miles away and instead I could be spending this gloomy, rainy Saturday cuddled in the bed with her.

I wish I had lots and lots of warm memories of growing up with Momma, but there are few.

Not that we don't love each other greatly. We do. It's just that she worked 2-3 jobs during my entire childhood, so the time she was home, she was usually sleeping.

And I was usually curled up next to her.

I'd watch her sleep and remember thinking how pretty she looked. She never took off her makeup before she'd fall asleep, so I'd study the shimmers of her green glittery eyeshadow and the beautiful symmetry of her wet black eyeliner — top lid only.

And when I couldn't sleep, she'd trace a gentle trail all over my face with her fingertips — above my eye, below my nose, a circle around my mouth — many times never opening her eyes herself. Her exhausted fingers knew the way.

Now, I close my eyes when I'm caressing my son's face at bedtime sometimes and remember.

Yes, there are few memories, but the ones I cling to are so special, like on our drives to visit Grandma and Granddaddy 2.5 hours away.

We'd laugh and sing along to the radio at the top of our lungs. Momma would always try to do harmony, but it never really worked since we were both natural altos.

When it would get dark, she'd let me crawl into her lap and steer the car down the parkway, sometimes for an hour or more. (Nobody worried about seat belts back then.)

Sometimes, I'd just hand the wheel back over to her and crawl down to put my head on her lap as we quietly marked off the miles.

No laughter, no singing, no radio.

Just her one hand on the wheel and the other tracing that gentle, familiar trail with her fingertips, over my eye, under my nose …

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