October 15, 2009

Your Assignment, Should You Choose to Accept - 10/15/09

It's that time of week when I visit Mama Kat's Writers' Workshop and check out her prompts.

This week's prompts:

1.) Interview you mom...questions might include, How has motherhood changed you? What ages were your favorites? Do you miss having having kids in the house? What was the most difficult part of being a mom for you? What was the most rewarding part? etc... I think I'll ask my Mom if I'm her favorite child and when she dodges the question (again) I'll scream, "DAMMIT WOMAN! Answer the QUESTION!!" Feel free to steal my idea.

2.) Tell us the story of your birth.

3.) How did you parents choose your name? What does it mean? What would you change your name to if you could?

4.) Describe a moment when you realized your mom was more than just a mom.

5.) Write a poem for your Mama.


I struggled with the prompts this week. My mom and I have always had a difficult relationship. As the only girl among four brothers, I was the official house drudge and the brunt of all her anger and frustration.

She bought me too many clothes, and expected me to be "on" for her friends and the neighbors. I often was found lacking, and suffered her wrath, both physically and verbally.

She did the best she could, but sometimes, that wasn't good enough.

Now she sits in a nursing home in AZ, struggling with first dementia, now Alzheimer's. After a recent illness, she had to learn how to walk again. She doesn't talk much now, so the profanity-laced phone calls have stopped.

I learned most of what NOT to do as a mother from her, and I am grateful for her teaching. It pains me a little when people say I look like her.

She is a big part of why I am the way I am, both good and bad. By the time I was 10, I had a written list (stored in a book) of things that I would NOT do or say if I ever became a mom...and I've stuck to that list with approximately 99% accuracy.

I went with prompt #5 - Write a poem to your mama.

Not Made to Order

With three sons at your side
You remembered from when you were a bride,
Of wanting a baby girl of your own
To dress up in finery, and the world would be shown
Your class.

The object of your yearnings
Turned out to be a tomboy who'd be learning
To prefer kickball and bikes and all the rest,
And rejected all manners of fancy dress
For Keds.

When you told me you never liked
That girl that once rode that bike
I was not hurt; but was sad
And I knew that at least my dad
Wanted me.

Now as dementia robs your mind
You don't remember those comments unkind
Your memory's now foggy and blurry
Too bad I don't have the luxury
Of Alzheimer's.

Stop by Mama Kat's and check out all of the prompts that are far more loving and kind than mine!

10 comments:

  1. How unfortunate you had such a strained relationship with your mom. But definitely good that you have risen above that and kept true to your word and have been a different mother to your children!

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  2. Wow, that was deep. I am sure that took a lot to share that with your fellow bloggers. Well done.

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  3. That was a powerful post. Your poem was...well, I don't acutally have words to describe it.

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  4. A poignant post. Thank you for sharing this. A hauntingly beautiful poem.

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  5. Thank you for sharing ... and I hope in some small way, this was therapeutic. Not all moms are good moms -- it is important to remember that and learn from their mistakes. I think you did that.

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  6. It is so hard to forgive and forget - even when the transgressor no long has any memory of the hurts. I'll second Jenners in hoping that you found posting cathartic.

    On a lighter note - you must be headed to Hawaii - the word verification is moomoo.

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  7. I really admire your honesty.

    Although, I love my mom and appreciate her quirky nature there are parts of our relationship that I can not make peace with. It's painful and I really make a point not to continue the cycle. I'm sure I will make my own mistakes, but I will certainly not make the mistakes my mother made.

    This was a very powerful post.

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  8. Beautiful poem...I hope that you have made peace with it and know that you are a better woman and mother despite what you felt with your own mom

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  9. You did a good job on the poem. Sorry you didn't have a good relationship with your mom growing up but at least you did learn from her. making that list at ten years old was a very good idea!

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Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!